islands: Emilio Portal
What could be possible in a world where we all acknowledged the experience, knowledge and wisdom of the local indigenous peoples?
If we are so concerned with sustainability, why then are we not looking to the People who were able to sustain themselves for thousands of years — from the beginning of all time?
Emilio Portal, 2012
Inspired by colonial and indigenous histories connected to the site of Victoria, artist Emilio Portal unveiled the new installation islands at Open Space. Portal is a recent graduate of the MFA program at UVic. He received a BFA from Laurentian University in 2005 and a Bachelor of Environmental Design from Dalhouise in 2007.
On May 14, 2012, Portal began the installation of islands in the gallery. islands is an ongoing performance that honours the Lekwungen peoples of Vancouver Island. Through a series of creative acts, Portal performs a respect to the land, and the remnants of history that lies underneath.
As this performance unfolds we become witnesses to the creation of an interstitial space of transformation and ceremony. Portal’s islands float into existence to become a new ground, a new ground on which we can respond to the land in deep and meaningful ways. islands transforms Open Space into a site of honouring, memorial, and remembering ancient histories.