Art installation examining residential school era arrives at Nanaimo Library – Nanaimo News Bulletin
A nationally touring art installation that recognizes children subjected to the residential school system and symbolizes ongoing reconciliation is finally returning to its home province.
The Vancouver Island Regional Library announced in a press release on July 2 that from now until September 30, the Nanaimo Harbourfront Library will host a reproduction of the master carver’s witness cover from the Vancouver Island Carey Newman.
VIRL describes the Witness Coverage as “a powerful art installation recognizing the atrocities of the residential school era,” and notes that the artwork is made up of hundreds of artifacts from communities across Canada that once housed residential schools. The original artwork includes the actual elements, while the reproduction shows images.
The scale reproduction, measuring approximately 12 meters wide and 2 meters high, has been on the road since spring 2019 while the original piece is being held at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Nanaimo Harbourfront Library Director Anthony Martin said the library was “honored” to display the facility, and added that his arrival is particularly timely.
“The importance of this piece, especially in light of recent and ongoing discoveries in former residential schools, cannot be overstated,” he said in the statement. “I encourage anyone who can visit the branch to experience this visceral, evocative and thoughtful portrayal of a dark and deeply traumatic legacy in this country. “