Touchstones: Deep Time in the Near Future


Touchstones: Deep Time in the Near Future is a three-part curatorial project presented by Far Afield. 

Touchstones has been generously supported by the Kent Harrison Arts Council, Ranger Station Art Gallery, and the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival.

Curated by Caitlin Chaisson.

Carrielynn Victor. Rooted People. 1 September - 30 September, 2018. Ranger Station Art Gallery. 

Lianne Zannier. all the cool girls were gemstones but i was just a sedimentary rock12 September, 2018. Online Exhibition.

Lexie Owen. Fair Secrets. 14 September - 15 September, 2018. Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival.


Curatorial Statement

Agassiz, British Columbia | Occupied and unceded Coast Salish Territory (Stó:lō and Sts'ailes)

Far Afield is pleased to present Touchstones: Deep Time in the Near Future, an ambitious three-part curatorial series featuring the work of artists Lexie OwenCarrielynn Victor, and Lianne Zannier. Throughout the month of September, these unique artist projects will address ideas of hidden or embedded knowledge, nature’s intelligence, and systems of value. 

Touchstones originated as an investigation into a time capsule that was buried in Agassiz thirty years ago. The time capsule contains ephemera from a former Experimental Farm, and is dated to be unearthed on September 14, 2088. Despite the conspicuous presence of the sizeable granite marker that heralds its location, the capsule and the history that accompanies it has largely been forgotten. On the occasion of the anniversary of the burial of the time capsule, each of the artists' contributions work to address the visibility or invisibility of certain types of knowledge, practices, or histories.

Launching the series is an exhibition of new work by Carrielynn Victor at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison Hot Springs. Rooted People is a suite of drawings that blends imagery of plant and body systems, representing pairings that work together to heal afflictions. This understanding of the connections between plants and the human body is practiced by the Stó:lō in traditional medicine and is also recognized in naturopathy as the Doctrine Law of Signatures. Herbalism and healing are sensitively entwined in Victor’s drawings, which evoke the strength of ancestral relations. The delicate watercolours demonstrate the interconnectedness and fluidity between body systems and plant medicines.

Lianne Zannier’s all the cool girls were gemstones but i was just a sedimentary rock is an online exhibition that will be featured on Far Afield's web space. The exhibition explores socially constructed expectations and interpretations of value, and how we designate something as precious. Zannier takes the geological as a proposition of malleability and movement, using mineral abstractions as a way to invite a closer and more attentive look. In her hybrid experiments combining hand-drawn and digital compositions, the lithic performs in surprising and unusual ways.

The third component of the Touchstones series will unfold through a collaboration with the Agassiz Fall Fair and Corn Festival. Domestic, horticultural and agricultural production is steeped in tacit, embedded knowledge, and success in these endeavours is often the result of decades, or even centuries-long relationships with materials, matter, and living organisms. At the festival, Lexie Owen’s Fair Secrets will invite participation from the local community by soliciting an assortment of secrets—from prized recipes to personal confessions. Through anonymous contributions, Fair Secrets will create a collective representation of the knowledge harboured within the region. The shared secrets will be transformed into a publication and released as a small limited edition.

While each of the three solo exhibitions are autonomous, they are bound together contemporaneously, held within Touchstones: Deep Time in the Near Future. Each project pensively suggests new ways of thinking about historical transmissions, and how these manifest in local environments. Collectively, the artists address the complications that emerge out of the schisms or absences in histories and understandings, positioning new touchstones, or cultural markers, for heading into the future.  

Artist Biographies

Lexie Owen is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works in the unceded Coast Salish Territory known as Vancouver, BC. With a practice that bridges disciplines, Owen’s work explores notions of labour, visibility, legitimacy and the strange particularities of living with, and attempting to claim agency within, the structures of late-capitalism. Currently she is an artist-in-residence with the City of Vancouver at Burrard View Park Fieldhouse, and is the curator and project director of the itinerant community-based gallery space WNDW. Owen holds both a BFA in Critical + Cultural Practice from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and a diploma in Jewellery + Small Object Design from Kootenay School of the Arts. Recent and upcoming exhibitions featuring her work include JOINT EFFORTS, Harbour Front Centre (Toronto, ON); FIELD GUIDES, Roundhouse Exhibition Hall (Vancouver, BC); In The Hole, PAVED arts (Saskatoon, SK); Break the Legs of What I Want to Happen, Access Gallery (Vancouver, BC) and Fresh Paint, New Construction, Art Mur (Montreal, QC).

Carrielynn Victor is an artist, fisher, plant harvester and medicines practitioner whose work fuses ancestral knowledge and a deep connection to her culture with contemporary techniques and styles. Her practice considers gender and sexuality, community, interconnectedness, land, and sustainability. With an innate desire to make progressive change through art, voice, and action, Victor is fuelled by the passion to leave positive imprints within the earth and the people. Victor’s ancestors come from around the world, including those of Scottish, English and Irish decent who arrived in the Americas in the early 1600’s, and Coast Salish ancestors that have been sustained by S’olh Téméxw (Our Territory) since time immemorial. In addition to her art practice, Victor works for the Stó:lō Tribal Council & The People of the River Referrals Office, providing research for Rights & Title matters as well as serving in a liaison role to community leadership.

Lianne Zannier is an animator and visual artist living in Vancouver, British Columbia: the traditional unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh-ulh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and Tsleil-Watututh peoples. Currently her practice investigates the relationship between the medium of drawing and traditional forms of animation with digital technologies. She completed an MFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, BFA in Film Animation at Concordia University, and a BA in Art History from Mount Allison University. Her work has been shown throughout Canada, the US, and internationally. She has worked as a studio assistant for the AFJD Studio on Mycelium Mockup at ISEA2015, with Amber Frid-Jimenez on Mel Chin's SEA to SEE, and played the role of Catlin in the 1997 production of The Stones Cry Out!

Public Events

Each artist's project coincides with events that are open to the public. Events will take place in Agassiz, Harrison, and Vancouver, BC. Details on dates, times, and how to attend can be found on the events page

Download the exhibition poster here.