in a body, a place, at this time, with others

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 Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg peoples and is governed by the Dish With One Spoon and the treaties that followed including the Two Row Wampum. My father worked in the foundry at General Motors and at home worked with wood; after working outside the home 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, Art Metropole, Western Front and Trinity Square Video. I 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 my work offer multiple points of entry for public engagement with contemporary art and social discourse. I work from my lived experience.

My primary material is movement – of digital images, sound and the human body. Early work was concerned with the material of performance and a feminism based in a notion of sexual agency. Reflections on consciousness informed by Buddhist practice has been an intermittent theme since the 1990s. Reflections on the relationship between indigenous and settler peoples in Canada first appeared in my work in the early 90s as part of perceiving place and others. My use of governance and archival documents intensified in the most recent decade. Water and the infrastructure of its use has preoccupied most recent work. My core question is – What does it mean to be in a body, in this place, at this time, with others?

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. I played 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. I have sometimes worked as a facilitator and a trainer in consensus-building and group governance (see echittyconsultant.ca). I have engaged as an ally to the Niagara indigenous community since the 1990s and am a Supporter of the Haudenosaunee Right to Hunt at Short Hills Provincial Park. I’ve worked in the horticultural industry, experienced homelessness for over 3 years, raised a daughter and made my way doing my best to be true to this body, time, place and others.

Download CV – Chitty CV

Download Bibliography + Publications – Chitty Biblio+Publ