Michaela Bridgemohan and Heather Savard at the Alternator

Michaela Bridgemohan, Salve Table (Lotion For Your Constitution), 2021-2022. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is pleased to present two new exhibitions by BC-based artists: embalmed funks by Michaela Bridgemohan, and Greens by Heather Savard, on view from March 15 through April 27, 2024.

Funk, as an incorporeal embodiment of Black consciousness, attracts attention and occupies space. Like diasporic people, funk imbeds movement through travel. When navigating various geographies, diasporic people often create new cultural compasses in order to develop a sense of belonging and connection to these landscapes. In embalmed funks, Michaela Bridgemohan explores this conceptual landscape through creative play.

In this work, Bridgemohan utilizes medium, form, and scent as archival materials depicting the sacredness of the everyday Black Canadian experience. Domestic items like silk pillowcases, end tables, and wide toothcombs are repositioned as precious within the gallery space. She explores how domestic settings inform relational connections to our surroundings, and draws from Afro-Caribbean cultural practices to inform this creative discourse, mirroring how fundamental care for the body is infused with caring for the land.

Heather Savard, Greens, 2023. Image courtesy of the artist.

In Greens, Okanagan artist Heather Savard explores how perception of social class is tied into the visual presentation of cultivated grass lawns. This work draws inspiration from a passage in The Anthropocene Reviewed, wherein author John Green discusses the evolution of the American lawn, saying “…quality of lawns in the neighbourhood began to be seen as a proxy for the quality of the neighbourhood itself”.

Using the visual language of the formal French garden, combined with modern materials such as artificial turf, Savard explores representations of hierarchical social systems. She questions how the idealized version of the North American lawn fits into the sociological games played between neighbours while being wrapped up, for Savard at least, inside of the ever-seemingly untenable goal of homeownership.

Both embalmed funks and Greens will be on view at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art from March 15 to April 27, 2024.

About the Artists

Michaela Bridgemohan is an interdisciplinary artist of Jamaican and Australian descent who grew up in Calgary A.B., but now gratefully resides on syilx territory, in Kelowna, B.C. She received her BFA in Drawing (with Distinction) from the Alberta University of the Arts, and holds a MFA in Visual Arts from the University of British Columbia Okanagan. Through her paternal Caribbean heritage, Bridgemohan’s artistic research is driven to reinscribe new notions of multiplicity and multi-dimensionality within Black identity in Canada. She includes cultural ways of making as a legitimate form of artistic expression and creative power.

Heather Savard has a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, and an MFA from the University of Alberta. Her artistic practice is responsive and a process-based exploration of household objects and structures. She explores how value is assigned in material culture. Her previous research questions have revolved around what it means to be ‘good’ and what it means for something to hold ‘value’.

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About the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of our creative community.

Since 1989, the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian artists and helped develop the talents of local artists by providing a network of collaboration and sharing. The Alternator fosters energetic, creative, critical discussion on art & culture. The Alternator believes in the greater positive potential of our creative community and values our role as a key contributor to the cultural life of Kelowna and beyond.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art respectfully acknowledges its presence on the unceded territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art
#103 – 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna B.C.
(250) 868-2298

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The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is situated within the Rotary Centre for the Arts, which is fully accessible.