I am a Canadian interdisciplinary artist born in St. Catharines ON in 1953 to parents who came to this territory with my sister from England in 1951. This territory has been the traditional hunting ground of many nations, most recently Chonnonton, Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples. My father worked in the foundry at General Motors and at home worked with wood; my mother taught vocal music and speech arts at home. After graduating with an Honours B.A. in Fine Art, Modern Dance Major from York University in 1975, I spent my early career in Toronto and Vancouver where I was associated with 15 Dance Lab, A Space and Western Front among other artist-run centres and returned to the Niagara area in 1988 where I have lived since.
My artistic practice has always been interdisciplinary, both in terms of relationships among art media and with other disciplines. I intend that it offer multiple points of entry for public engagement with contemporary art and social discourse. What does it mean to be in a body, in this place, at this time, with others? My primary material is movement – of digital images, sound and the human body. I began to reflect on the relationship between indigenous and settler peoples in Canada in my work many years ago. My use of governance and other archival documents intensified in this decade but has numerous precedents in earlier work. Water and the infrastructure of its use has preoccupied much of my work for a decade.
In parallel with my work as an artist, I have played many roles in the arts including serving as Executive Director of national, provincial and local arts service organizations and had a key role writing the first municipal cultural policy for the City of St. Catharines. I taught Creative Process at School of the Toronto Dance Theater for 16 years, practising a pedagogy built on my training as a mediator and facilitator. My social justice work includes consensus-building (see echittyconsultant.ca). I worked as a labourer in the horticultural industry as necessary and raised a daughter.
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