In light of restrictions on international travel at this time, Nicholas Galanin will no longer be able to travel to Aotearoa for his Ockham Residential Lecture that was scheduled for Thursday 19 March. We’ll be working with him to find a new time for this event.

Nicholas Galanin’s (Tlingit/Unangax) work offers perspective rooted in connection to land and broad engagement with contemporary culture. For over a decade, Galanin has been embedding incisive observation into his work, investigating and expanding intersections of culture and concept in form, image, and sound. 

In this lecture, Galanin will discuss his approach to making in relation to tourist industry replica and his motivation to disrupt the commodification of culture. His carving practice includes cultural customary objects, petroglyphs in sidewalks and coastal rock, masks cut from anthropological texts, and engraving handcuffs used to remove indigenous children from their families. 

Galanin's works embody critical thought. They are vessels of knowledge, culture and technology – inherently political, generous, unflinching, and poetic. He engages past, present and future – through two and three dimensional works– exposing obscured collective memory and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. 

Beyond the walls of his studio he designs and fabricates ceramic riot gear, arrows in flight, and curio masks covered in delftware patterns, employing materials and processes to expand and forward dialogue on what artistic production is and how it can be used to envision possibility. His concepts determine his materials and processes. His practice is expansive and includes numerous collaborations with visual and recording artists.

Ticket holders will be notified via email.


Nicholas Galanin is an artist participating in the 22nd Biennale of Sydney which includes a lineup of some 98 artists and collectives, due to run from March 14 to June 8. The focus of the show curated by Brook Andrew, a member of the Wiradjuri people, is the “unresolved past anxieties and hidden layers of the supernatural,” according to a statement. Its title is “NIRIN,” after the Wiradjuri word for “edge.”

Galanin apprenticed with master carvers and jewellers, earned his BFA at London Guildhall University in Jewellery Design and his MFA in Indigenous Visual Arts at Massey University in New Zealand. He lives and works with his family in Sitka, Alaska.

Nicholas Galanin, The American Dream is Alie and Well

Nicholas Galanin