Healing art of Patricia June Vickers at Christ Church Cathedral
April 28 to May 11
One woman’s healing journey, expressed powerfully through her art, is the subject of the next exhibit to be held at Christ Church Cathedral’s Chapel of the New Jerusalem.
Patricia June Vickers, an artist, psychotherapist and spiritual director, addresses the issue of sexual abuse and intergenerational trauma in her exhibit. Two years ago, Vickers underwent an intensive period of neurofeedback and psychotherapy to heal her dissociative amnesia, an involuntary response to trauma. As she restored her spiritual balance, she documented her journey in small paintings.
There are more than 30 mixed media works in the show, pieces that use acrylic, watercolour and collage to create layers. These abstract images are coupled with written reflections on the artist’s healing process. “Life is a midden,” she said. “Truth can sometimes be underneath all these layers.” She began to paint out of an inability to find words to communicate the raw reality. “It came out of a need to express what I couldn’t say in words,” she said. She believes that continuing intergenerational and sexual trauma among First Nations, “is the root problem in our communities that we are still not facing.”
Vickers, 63, is of British, Tsimshian, Heiltsuk and Haida First Nation ancestry and was raised in Hazelton and Victoria. She grew up with art all around her, learning traditional applique fabric designs and later, painting. Her brothers Arthur Vickers and Roy Henry Vickers are both well-known artists. Roy has partnered with her to create a potlatch screen that will be on display during the show.
Having Christ Church Cathedral host the show is really significant, says Vickers, who always loved the words and music of the Anglican service.
Christ Church Cathedral Dean Ansley Tucker said such an important exhibit creates valuable insights. “Long before we learned to speak, we learned to see,” she said. “In this exhibit we have the benefit of visceral visual images, as well as Patricia Vickers’s own words of reflection to guide and teach us. We are grateful for her courage and honesty.”
Sunday, April 28, 5.30 pm.Opening reception (Chapel of the New Jerusalem)
Sunday, May 5 at 3.00 pm,Connecting Hearts, artist talk on personal reconciliation. “People know the history. What isn’t being spoken about is our internal worlds and what connects our hearts,” she said.
Hours:The show will be open to the public 10.00 am to 4.00 pm Monday to Saturday and 1.00 to 3.00 pm on Sunday.
Patricia June Vickersis a counsellor and artist living in Vancouver. She is clinical director of mental health and wellness at the First Nations Health Authority and has a PhD.
Christ Church Cathedralin Victoria stands on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. It is the episcopal seat of the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, which includes Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The Cathedral also has a large and active parish community and contributes to the cultural, social and spiritual life of residents and visitors in the Capital Regional District. The gothic cathedral, one of Canada’s largest churches, was designed in 1896.