Faced with feelings of displacement and the constant need to adapt to different landscapes, diasporic artist Faune Ybarra aspires to ground herself in the places she chooses to live. Born in Mexico City and raised between Oaxaca and Mexico City, Ybarra later moved to St. John’s, Newfoundland, where she lived for four years. She now lives and works in Vancouver. Hoping to acknowledge her presence in a new – albeit potentially temporary – place, Ybarra created an ongoing multimedia archive of her journeys to weave her story within the broader tapestry of immigrant narratives. This work is a part of Ybarra’s archive.
While in St. John’s, Ybarra developed an artistic response to Robert E. Holloway’s book Through Newfoundland with the Camera (1905). Now part of the Digital Archives Initiative, the seminal book influenced the Canadian public’s perception of the province in the 1900s. Ybarra contemplates whether her perspective as an immigrant to Canada and as an artist of colour could provide nuance to the evolving story of the province.
In 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Ybarra, unable to get to the physical archives in St. John’s, used their digital archive instead. Behind and on her is a projected image of the Holloway photograph captioned “Iceberg Stranded Outside St. John’s Harbour for Three Weeks.” She enshrouds herself with a white blanket and stands on a mattress situated in her apartment in Vancouver. Ybarra’s movement and the shape of her covered body change the original image’s identity, creating a new one in the process – one of intimate connection, impermanence, and confinement.
The Canada Line Art Program – InTransit BC is presented by Wesgroup Properties
Presented in partnership with the Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond Public Art, and Canada Line Public Art Project – InTransit BC