Gallery Gachet E-Newsletter
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Manuel Axel Strain Needed Medicine

Take As Needed 
A community conversation

Eli Howey  Passageways

February Schedule

We invite you to join
WePress Open Studio
Mondays 1–3pm
Everyone Welcome

Feb 3
WePress Open Studio   1-3pm

Feb 8

Take As Needed
at Interurban
Art Gallery
A Community

Feb 10
WePress Open Studio   1-3pm

Feb 15

Manuel Axel Strain
Needed Medicine 
Last Day   6-9pm

Feb 18
Volunteer Orientation      3pm

Feb 24
WePress Open Studio   1-3pm

Feb 28
Eli Howey 

Opening                    6-9pm


Accessibility Info

Front door - 32" width

No steps
Door - 35" width

Toilet clearance:

8'' left side

29'' front

Support bars on left and behind toilet

Our full accessibility audit is available here.

In order to create a space where folks with multiple chemical sensitivities can participate, please refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes or other scented products (including essential oils) and smoke far away from the entrance to the space.
For info on how to support people with multiple chemical sensitivities, visit this resource put together by Peggy Munson.




Our program offers access to our facility and programs in exchange for volunteering with us. It also offers a wide range of opportunities for learning at all levels, including communication skills, exhibition coordination, learning about non-profit organization management, professional development skills for artists and arts administration skills.

Our next Volunteer Orientation | Tuesday, February 18th at 3pm

Contact: 604-687-2468 or or check out

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Thank you to our sponsors!!


Manuel Axel Strain: Needed Medicine

On Display until February 15, 2020

Featuring new work by Manuel Axel Strain, Needed Medicine locates mental health within contexts of colonization, intergenerational trauma, and cultural resurgence. Through installation, sculpture, video, and performance, Strain draws from lived experience as a source of agency to investigate different ways of healing and knowing. Two sculptures made with gathered materials — text books, clay, plexiglass, methadone bottles, and prayer ties — question the stability of psychiatric diagnoses and excessively prescriptive approaches to treatment while integrating the cultural dissonance of healing between worlds. A video installation situates language within land as medicine, responding to a desire to resist the loss of language. Drawn to the alleyways of Gastown or the Downtown Eastside, Strain engages Blood Alley as a performance site, working with smudge ash, clay, tumuth and their body to recast the assertions and erasures of urban myths, national histories, and family stories. Works on paper record performance traces as variations on the artist’s distinct modes of self-portraiture.

Strain’s practice confronts the dominance of institutional medical knowledge, stereotypes, and the stigmatization of addictions, where someone is assumed to be at fault for their substance use and their experiences are removed from contexts of trauma histories within the settler economy. Their work introduces a sensory aspect to the now-conventional form of the land acknowledgement while questioning the meaning and process of reconciliation. Evoking ceremonial processes, Needed Medicine centres the value of autonomy and self-determination in recovery and creativity.

Artist Biography
Manuel Axel Strain is a 2-spirit interdisciplinary artist with Musqueam/Simpcw/Syilx heritage based in the unceded territory of the Katzie/Kwantlin peoples. They use their lived experience to inspire social and political change in the colonial state of Canada. This leads them to examine the construction of First Nations identities — in particular the internal conflicts that arise from imposed identity constructs and the legacies of colonization. They work with painting, photography, sculpture, performance, and installation. Strain’s work is mainly concerned with assimilation, religion, spirituality, intergenerational trauma, and healing. Their goal is to move beyond the binary opposition of the colonizer and the colonized to establish new ontologies for First Nations identities.

Gallery Gachet is located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver on the unceded and occupied territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Gallery Gachet has a mandate to support artists and offer art programs addressing mental health and socio-political marginalization, while promoting art as a means for survival, cultural participation, and human rights.

For more information contact  604 687 2468 | or visit

Accessibility Info:
Gallery Gachet is located at 9 W Hastings Street, on the main floor of the Beacon Hotel building near Pigeon Park between Carrall & Columbia Streets. The location is accessible by bus, Skytrain and Seabus within 1 bus connection. Bus routes #14, 16, 20, 95, 4, 7 stop within 1-2 city blocks. The Main space is a single level space with no stairs. The front door is 32" wide with no steps. The front door is not automatic. It can be opened upon request or contact us ahead of time. The gallery layout varies depending on the event and art installation(s) in progress. The washroom is single occupancy and all-genders. The washroom door is 35" wide and not automatic. There are support bars for the toilet on the left side and behind the toilet, with a clearance of 8'' on the left side and 29'' in front. Although the space has a scent-reduced policy, chemicals for art may be used in the space. The venue promotes harm reduction and safety for all patrons. The art exhibitions at Gallery Gachet often contend with lived experiences of trauma, mental distress, and marginalization, which could be triggering for some visitors. 

Eli Howey | Passageways

February 28 - April 4, 2020

Opening Reception:
Friday, February 28

Passageways is based on a series of watercolour and gouache paintings of the same title, in which a cast of illuminated characters in shadowy environments are held in the tension of transgressing spaces. The exhibition includes sculpture, printmaking, book arts, and community engagement to reinterpret the body toward an imaginative-poetic-visual language around human psychology, identity, and gender.


Take As Needed

Interurban Art Gallery, 1 E Hastings | Saturday, February 8, 3pm-5pm

A community conversation in association with Manuel Axel Strain’s Needed Medicine, currently on exhibit at Gallery Gachet

Free Event | Smudging will be offered  | Refreshments will be provided at 3pm

The conversation will begin at 3:30pm to make time for those who would like to visit the exhibition at Gallery Gachet (across Carrall Street) before gathering at Interurban

All are welcome to join us for a community conversation on the artwork and themes of Needed Medicine, a solo exhibition of new sculpture, drawing, video, and performance work by Manuel Axel Strain currently at Gallery Gachet. Needed Medicine locates mental health within contexts of colonialism, intergenerational trauma, and cultural resurgence. For Take As Needed, Strain has invited E. Condesa Strain, Charlene Vickers, Hagere Selam (shimby) Zegeye-Gebrehiwot, and Stephanie Gagne to share their responses to the exhibition. Possible topics will include addiction, different modes of recovery and healing, institutional and cultural knowledge systems, connections to ancestral land, intergenerational transmissions, and Indigenous-Settler relations.

Photo: Manuel Axel Strain, The Land Can't Hear Your Voices, video installation (still), 2020.
Image courtesy the artist


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Vancouver, BC  V6B 1G4

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Gallery Gachet · 88 East Cordova Street · Vancouver, British Columbia V6A 1K3 · Canada

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