Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

Douglas Curran: The Elephant Has Four Hearts; Nyau Masks and Ritual

Vancouver based photographer Douglas Curran first met members of the Chewa people while working on a film in Zimbabwe in 1992. The Chewa he met were migrant workers from Malawi employed on plantations and in mines. Over a period of several years he gradually became integrated into this community in Malawi, photographing and filming their extraordinary rituals associated with a belief system known as Nyau. The Chewa rituals and their masks are part of a complex and spectacular set of beliefs that Curran has been encouraged by the Chewa to document. Curran, no longer an outsider to this culture, has created a stunning pictorial record that invites dialogue about recording the lives of others, and forces comparisons with contemporary performance art. The exhibition will consist of photographs, video and a sampling of masks.

International touring exhibition.

A PHG catalogue accompanies the exhibition and includes text by Douglas Curran and Bill Jeffries.

Talk with the artist on Saturday January 8 at 3 pm

Discussion with Douglas Curren and UBC Museum of Anthropology Director Anthony Shelton on Saturday January 22 at 3 pm.

  • Gallery Invitation - front