A vision for a Floating artist residency
Originally built in 1927 as a floating house in Coal Harbour, Canada, the Blue Cabin was re-located to North Vancouver for more than 80 years.
In its inaugural year as an open house for artists in residence, five artists will examine local histories and resurgent Indigenous traditions from Canada and Australia
Australian First Nations artist Vicki Couzens will be the first Australian artist to undertake the residency, as part of an Australia Council partnership with Grunt gallery, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3).
“We are delighted to support the first Australian artist in the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency program,” says Dr. Wendy Were, Executive Director, Strategic Development and Advocacy at the Australia Council for the Arts. “Vicki Couzens is a First Nations multimedia artist and cultural leader who will share her arts practice and cultural knowledge in a unique and culturally significant location. This prestigious opportunity ensures that Australia’s highly respected First Nations’ arts, culture, and stories continue to be shared with new audiences across the world, and strengthens our deep connections between Australian and Canadian First Nations peoples.”
Possum Cloak Maker, Interdisciplinary Artist, Blue Cabin artist in residency
Vicki has worked in the Aboriginal community for more than 35 years in various roles, serving on the Boards of Banmirra Aboriginal Arts, Victorian Housing, Koorie Heritage Trust and the Victorian Aboriginal Corporation for Languages (VACL). She was Language Advisor and worked with the curatorial team on the First Peoples Exhibition at Melbourne Museum and has taught extensively across Victoria and south-eastern Australia.
She is considered a Senior Knowledge Holder of Language and Possum Cloak Story. Vicki is proud that her father, senior Gunditjmara Elder Ivan Couzens, served Aboriginal communities for more than 45 years at local, state and national levels, and established the first Dictionary of the Gunditjmara Languages in 1996. Vicki said: “Dad is my Elder, my mentor and my inspiration – he is a gentle, humble, wise man and I aspire to be more like him.”