Charlene Vickers, Sleepwalking, mixed media sculptural installation, 2004-2006; photo: Iga Janik

Tracking Absence

Deborah Koenker, Mae Leong, Femke van Delft, Charlene Vickers

A Space Main Gallery

November 3 – December 2, 2006

Curated by: Sally Frater

This group exhibition brings together women artists working around issues of consumerism, employment, identity and violence, as they relate to the presence and absence of the othered body. Femke van Delft’s series Missing is comprised of photographic images and texts that culturally map missing sex-trade workers in downtown Vancouver. Deborah Koenker’s textile installation Fotos y Recuerdos/Photographs and Memories presents a grid of single fingerprints and photographs of the nearly 500 women and girls who have been murdered in Juarez, Mexico. Charlene Vickers’ mixed media sculptural installation Sleepwalking comprises various objects including moccasins sewn from beer cases, folded blankets and photos placed in and around a circle of chairs to expose the objectification and cultural dislocation of the First Nations culture by the tourist industry. Mae Leong’s Barcodes+Sound displays thousands of the artist’s collected barcodes revealing them as a memento mori for the exploitative conditions and intensely physical labour that produce these items.


Deborah Koenker is a Vancouver-based artist who holds an MFA in Sculpture/Installation from Claremont Graduate University and a BA in Fine Art from the University of Southern California. Her work has been exhibited in venues across Canada, the U.S.A., Mexico and Ireland and can be found in the collections of many galleries and institutions in North America. Koenker teaches at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

Mae Leong was born in Hong Kong and currently lives and works in St. Catherines, ON. She has a BA in Visual Arts and a B.Ed (Visual Arts) from Brock University and a Certificate in Fine Arts Proficiency Testimonial from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has exhibited in venues throughout Ontario, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong. Leong’s work can be found in private collections in Canada, the U.S.A., Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Femke van Delft is an award-winning artist who is based in Vancouver, BC. She has shown her work nationally in galleries throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and internationally in venues in San Franciso and Ireland. Van Delft has a B.Sc (Gen) from the University of Alberta and a BA (Eng. Lit) from the University of Lethbridge. The artist also works as a professional photographer.

Charlene Vickers lives and works in Vancouver, BC. She is a graduate of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design with a focus in painting and has a BA in Critical Studies of Art from Simon Fraser University. She has shown her work in galleries in British Columbia, Ontario, Florida and Indiana. Vicker’s work explores her Ojibway ancestry and her experiences growing up and living in urban spaces.

Sally Frater is an independent curator, artist and writer. She holds a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph. She is currently completing a MA in Contemporary Art from the University of Manchester/Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, England.