Body Language – Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest

Temporary Exhibit at the Alberni Valley Museum

June 22 – December 11, 2021

Body Language is the first exhibition to fully explore the rich history and artistry of Indigenous tattooing on the Pacific Northwest Coast.

Since ancient times, both men and women on the coast marked their clan crests and symbols of personal identity onto their skin. Tattoos were a celebration and recognition of special life events, potlatches, and social rank.

The exhibition is guest curated by Dion Kaszas, an Nlaka’pamux tattoo artist and scholar. The five Indigenous artists featured in the exhibition explore traditional tattooing within their cultures. As these traditions re-emerge, they are transcending mere decoration to provide healing, protection, and a profound sense of belonging. The exhibition includes historical and contemporary photographs, along with contemporary art related to tattooing designs.

Organized by the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art.