Tsēmā Igharas

Tsēmā Igharas is an interdisciplinary artist and member of the Tahltan Nation. She uses Potlatch methodology to create conceptual artwork and teachings influenced by her mentorship in Northwest Coast Formline Design at K’saan (2005/06), her studies in visual culture, and her time in the mountains. Tsēmā’s artistic work grapples with the body, her body, as it has witnessed material and metaphysical landscapes changing and continually impacted, shaken and consumed by corporate resource extraction. Her praxis is sparked by strategies of Indigenous resistance to neo-colonization, embodied knowledge and everyday acts of decolonization as ways to understand the imaginary Canadian “true North” and industrial reverberations felt by those who live downstream.

Tsēmā holds a Bachelor’s degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2011) and graduated from the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design program at OCAD University (2016), showing her thesis work LAND|MINE that connects materials to mine sites and bodies to the land.  Tsēmā has won the 2018 Emily Award for outstanding ECUAD alumni; is 1/25 2020 Sobey award winners; and has shown and performed in various places in Canada and internationally in Sweden, Mexico, USA and Chile.

PUBLIC ART: Billboard on Shaw by Tsēmā Igharas

May 10, 2021 - June 17, 2021

Artist Tsēmā Igharas’ billboard real camo is on view at 180 Shaw Street through May to June, 2021, as part of the exhibition Groundwork, curated by Valérie Frappier and featuring artists Alana Bartol, Ileana Hernandez Camacho, and Igharas. The exhibition grapples with the mindset of extractivism and highlights how site-specific performance can bring focus to alternative ways of relating with land.

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EXHIBITION: Groundwork

May 10, 2021 - August 15, 2021

***Dates subject to provincial guidelines; exhibition will run for a minimum of 6 weeks. Visits are by appointment only. Stay tuned as we confirm scheduling and appointment details following Artscape Youngplace protocols.***

Artists: Alana Bartol, Ileana Hernandez Camacho, Tsēmā Igharas
Curator: Valérie Frappier


The term “extractivism” simultaneously evokes a physical process as well as a mindset, implying a forceful removal and subsequent severing of relations. By intersecting strands of ecology, geology, and performance theory, Groundwork examines how land-based actions can challenge the colonial-capitalist framework of extractivism.

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