Astarte, Manwoman’s widow shows Headbones Gallery’s Richard Fogarty the screen prints from Manwoman’s flat files in Cranbrook. (Contributed)

Okanagan gallery unveils work of artist dedicated to rehabilitating swastika

Headbones Gallery exhibit features Manwoman

Headbones Gallery is dusting off some history for its first exhibition since the start of COVID-19.

The Old Kamloops Road art gallery is presenting Manwoman: Holy Screen Time.

“The line between art and life for Manwoman was thin, brilliantly colored and drawn with expertise,” gallery owner Julie Oakes said. “He embraced his calling as an artist, an activist, a writer and – it must be said – as a performer.”

Known to dress in yellow, Manwoman (born as Patrick Charles Kemball) drove a yellow van and a yellow Cadillac convertible. He had a third eye tattooed on his forehead and his body covered in over 200 renditions of the swastika, reclaimed from Indigenous and religious cultures. He worked at banishing the stigma that the symbol had acquired since The Holocaust while maintaining to advocate against all the evil that image had born under Hitler.

READ MORE: Vernon resident’s property hit with racist vandalism

“Needless to say, he got into trouble for his views but throughout his career, he managed to impart an extreme positivity,” said Oakes, who brought Manwoman’s art to her gallery in the ’90s, where he returned for the first Headbones fashion show to model his yellow suit with flying hearts.

“His works have been in the Headbones drawers and shown in our exhibitions both here and in Toronto. This is the first time that such a quantity of his silk screen prints have been shown together and yet is not comprehensive as some editions have been sold out and are no longer available.”

One of the 67 silk screen editions exhibited will include a print of Princess Diana, standing slim and perfectly dressed in yellow. It stems from the BC Festival of the Arts in 1986, where Oakes played a psychotic baton twirler in Powerhouse Theatre’s production of Talking With…

READ MORE: COVID-19 closes curtain on Vernon theatre’s fall season

“As it happened, Manwoman was exhibiting in that festival as well,” said Oakes. “Princess Diana and Prince Charles opened the festival and at the opening ceremonies, as I talked with Manwoman, the royal couple’s secret security men removed him from the premises, suspicious of the way he looked.”

That is where the Diana art stemmed from.

Manwoman died at 74 in his home town of Cranbrook, surrounded by his works and artifacts and leaving behind children and grandchildren. Loved by many, respected and befriended by even more, he described himself as a “normal, beer guzzling, girl chasing, car-crazy Canadian youth.” Fueled by visions, inspired by religions, as creative as the hours of the day allowed – his work speaks for him now.

Flyfoot Press published three books by Manwoman that will be available at Headbones Gallery – Homesick for Eternity: Manwoman Autobiography, Gentle Swastika: Reclaiming the Innocence, and Midnight Freak Show: Poetry, Art and Dangerous Mysticism.

During the run of the exhibition, Oct. 17 to Nov. 28, the gallery is open by appointment, 12 – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday by calling 250-542-8987. The opening reception will be held outdoors and with 10 people, masked, allowed in the gallery at a time on Saturday, Oct. 17 between noon and 5. Manwoman’s widow, Astarte (Dale Sellars), will be in attendance.

READ MORE: Okanagan artists showcase works at Vernon mall


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

art exhibitArts and culture

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A firefighter descends the ladder truck after checking on the upper floors of the Clarence House apartment building after a fire broke out Tuesday morning. See story on page 5. 
 (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
UPDATE: Flames doused for second time at fatal Penticton apartment fire

The Elm Ave. building first caught fire around 4 a.m., killing two people and displacing dozens

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A firefighter descends the ladder truck after checking on the upper floors of the Clarence House apartment building after a fire broke out Tuesday morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

MLA Dan Ashton (Contributed)
Penticton MLA won’t seek leadership of B.C. Liberals

Dan Ashton believes a moderate leader with broad appeal is needed

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Steven Gardner in an Instagram selfie that contributed to his arrest.
Receipt plus Instagram selfie leads to arrest of Kamloops man

Steven Gardner is facing three firearms charges

Most Read