Chantal Gibson Writer-Artist-Educator

@ chantalgibsonartist Vancouver BC

Where Visual and literary art meet

Historical In(ter)ventions

If you took away the white space, what would the black text do? What would it say? 


Are there Other ways of reading a text? Of reading and writing history?


What does erasure look like?


My collection of altered history book sculptures is an ongoing project that explores the boundaries and limitations of 'the book' as a bound container of fixed truths. 


Black thread is used as a rhetorical device, as a metaphor for written text and a marker of Otherness--and new voices.  


The braided, twisted, knotted  material challenges what has and has not been said--erasing, redacting, editing the written content. The organic forms act as an extension of the content and make silence visible. These works challenge the ideas and ideologies embedded in the texts, reinterpret master narratives, and create new possibilities for reading and writing history. 


Started in 2011, the works range from small hand held books to large scale public installations.


Romance of Empire, 2019. 

Multimedia installation.  Romance of Empire. B. Willson, 1908. Photo: M. Giesbrecht


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How She Read: Confronting the Romance of Empire. Open Space Gallery, Victoria BC. February 2019

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  Braided Book, 2011. Mixed media altered text. A History of Canada, 1935.

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Joan's History Book, 2016. Mixed media altered text. Canada   A Nation, 1963.

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A Little Black History, 2011  Canada and Its People, circa 1967  

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A Little Black History, 2011  Canada and Its People, circa 1967  

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Who's Who? 2014  Mixed media altered text Who's Who in Canada 1927.

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Who's Who? 2014  Mixed media altered text Who's Who in Canada 1927.

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  The Negro Problem, 2017-19. An American Dilemma, The Negro Problem and Modern Democracy. G, Myrdal, 1944. 

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  My First Janson, 2019. Mixed media altered text. History of Art, 4th ed. HW Janson, 1991. 

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Outlines of British History, 2019 Outlines of British History Nova Scotia Edition, 1897  

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Outlines of British History, 2019 Outlines of British History Nova Scotia Edition, 1897