Honoring Ghosts & The Nature of Grief | Amberlie Perkin

Amberlie Perkin’s art practice involves listening to ghosts.  Drawn to the interplay of grief and ecology, her thesis project Honoring Ghosts & The Nature of Grief explores wounded ecologies in relation to both the human body and our non-human kin in this time of environmental degradation and accelerated extinctions. Perkin’s artwork examines how curious and embodied engagement with the natural environment can provide a visual and material language to articulate the complex and often abstract emotions of grieving.  Her process enacts the materiality of mourning and metamorphosis, while exploring the regenerative potential of death to animate new growth in the natural world and our lives.  Perkin’s installations are an invitation to make metaphoric connections to nature, to feel, to remember, and to commune with ghosts.

This yearlong thesis project culminated in her final exhibition which included:

Listen Now to the Quickening of Ghosts Who Whisper Rebuild, Rebuild

Tracing Your Ghost II

Lichen Collagraph Print Series

Honoring Ghosts & The Nature of Grief

Thesis Installaion. Sculptural works: Listen Now to the Quickening of Ghosts Who Whisper Rebuild, Rebuild, and  Tracing Your Ghost II.

Tracing Your Ghost II. 2020. Thesis Installation. Sculptural works created with relief prints of fragmented tree stumps, ponderosa pine bark & lichen on rice paper.

Lichen Collagraph Print Series, 2020. Thesis Installation. Artworks on either end of the triptych are 2 collagraph prints layered together.

Listen Now to The Quickening of Ghosts Who Whisper   Rebuild, Rebuild

Listen Now to the Quickening of Ghosts Who Whisper Rebuild, Rebuild. 2020. Thesis Installation. Sculptural works, variable dimensions. Chicken wire, paper mache, acrylic paint, and relief prints of tree stumps, pine bark & lichen on rice paper.

Tracing Your Ghost II


Amberlie Perkin is an interdisciplinary artist and art educator.  Her artwork investigates place, history, grief, and wounded ecologies.  Perkin’s diverse practice is deeply rooted in the embodied experience of engaging with nature and physically exploring sites which have been altered, often detrimentally, by human industrial interventions.  She is drawn to abandoned or wounded landscapes, searching for their histories, remnants, and ghosts. Her practice celebrates kinship while offering a poetic lamentation of our complex relationship with the natural environment.

Amberlie Perkin holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2010), a Bachelor of Education from Simon Fraser University (2011), and a Master of Visual Arts Degree from Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2020).  She has exhibited both locally and internationally.


IG: @amberlieperkinart

BACKTALK I Annie Canto and Nura Ali

BACKTALK Show Title and Zines
Posters from Letterpress Teach-in
Annie Canto, Resister Disco: Funky Moves for Salty Mixed Nuts
Nura Ali, The Space Between Embraces
Nura Ali, I'm Too Busy Sharpening My Oyster Knife Detail
Rebecca Bair, Inside Out I Outside In
Canto and Ali, Handbooks 1 + 2
Annie Canto, Pamphlets from The Centre for Polite Dissent: How to Talk to Your Students of Colour About Diversity Work

BACKTALK  was curated by Annie Canto and Nura Ali including their own work as well as pieces from Rebecca Bair, and a collaborative work by Aaniya Asrani and Reyhan Yazdani. The show featured a constellation of posters from their Letterpress Teach-in, an event during which Ali and Canto took over a wing of the Emily Carr print studio in order to discuss the ideas of activists, artists, and theorists who had shaped their understanding of institutional racism, coalition, and racial capitalism. The two worked with student groups to create prints that gave image and texture to personal experiences of racialization within arts institutions. 

BACKTALK was two-sided. It was an inside joke. The viewer could engage with the different texts through like experience. They could participate with the understanding of whispered solidarity. On the other hand, the viewer could be introduced to a multiplicity of unknown experiences processed by students or colleagues of colour in the halls they inhabited. The conceptual backing for this kind of socio-political critique came from a long lineage of student activist assertion of voice in post-secondary education. Extending from protest movements from the civil rights era, BACKTALK morphed institutional acknowledgements and phrases to uncover the still-dominant reign of white supremacist resource allocation that continues to create a culture of interpersonal biases left unanalyzed in art schools and spaces. 

BACKTALK hoped to unearth said biases and question leadership while making visible the personal accounts of discrimination within our institution.The exhibition made public a student-led culture of dissent, formed in solidarity, despite the persistent lack of attention to oppressive cultural hegemony at our school. It attempted to disrupt patterns of diversity commodification by spelling it out in textworks and through thoughtful representation as a peer organized curatorial project.

Wyobrażony Dom - The Imagined Home | Angelica Brzyska

Angelica Brzyska’s thesis project Ghosts of the Home: Unfolded Pasts & Traces of the Old Country explores the experiences of people with cross-cultural identities. The core of Brzyska’s practice draws from her Polish-Canadian identity, specifically the material exploration of paper through printmaking, the Polish folk art called wycinanki and installation. Nostalgia haunts the work which references her early childhood, a time when she felt the strongest connection to her Polish heritage and before she began to assimilate into Canadian culture. The tactility of printmaking and paper cutting’s repetitive actions allows Brzyska to remember the place of childhood thereby bridging the gap between her identities.


Mark Johnsen

Pressing Matter, Monotype, Stone Lithograph, Screen-print, found metal, wood vitrines.  2020