Terra Poirier is a Vancouver-based photographer and book artist interested in memory, contested space, labour and (in)visibility. Many of her projects are activist interventions or autobiographical graphic narratives concerned with storytelling, agency and the disruption of erasure. Terra is the creator of the 2018 artist book “Non-Regular: Precarious academic labour at Emily Carr University of Art + Design,”published by UNIT/PITT Projects.
Born in England to white hippies, Terra spent her childhood on the move with and without her family, from British Columbia to Ontario to the Northwest Territories to Quebec—sometimes living in tents, foster care, and for a while, a drive-in movie theatre. All of Terra’s work in memoir and landscape is grounded in this precarity. Her experiences as an activist and queer teen mother also inform her work on invisibility and the devaluation of supportive labour, as well as her short films which have screened internationally. A graphic designer by trade, Terra has spent 13 years translating social justice research to accessible forms.
Terra has a BFA in Photography (Art + Text minor) from Emily Carr University, receiving the Governor General’s Academic Medal and the Saralee James Memorial Award.In 2017 Terra was a finalist for the Lind Prize for Emerging Artists for her pinhole photo and text installation “Memory Block,” about her East Vancouver neighbourhood undergoing gentrification. Recent and upcoming group shows include “Sessional Office” at Mónica Reyes Gallery, “Dog Days” at the Polygon Gallery (Summer 2019), and the grunt gallery’s “Urban Screen” (Fall 2019).