Art Action Earwig

In this black and white photo by Marjo Wright, taken for the 2021 rEvolver Theatre Festival, artists are holding wooden sticks of two paper cut signs framed by cardboard. Minah is stretching her right arm to hold "Action" sign behind and above Wryly's right shoulder and head. She is intensely looking at the sign. Wryly is stretching their left arm across Minah's back to hold "Art" sign above Minah's left shoulder. Wryly is pointing the sign with a flashlight and boldly gazing right at you. They are standing in front of a door with brick and wooden wall around it.
Art Action Earwig. Photo: Marjo Wright for rEvolver Festival.

Art Action Earwig (AAE), a multidisciplinary performance collective composed of Wryly Andherson (Riley Anderson) and Minah Lee, is based in Vancouver, unceded ancestral Coast Salish territory. On these stolen lands, an artist who was losing her ground in the Canadian immigration system and a Canadian artist experiencing financial hardship united to make their creative livelihoods sustainable. To demonstrate their commitment and solidarity, they collaborated on two new iterations of The Lovers Inside Boa Constrictor – an autobiographical and situational dialogue performance staged at Vancouver’s 2018 Outsider Arts Festival. This performance was their wedding ceremony, protest, and a celebration of love against the systemic violence of economic exploitation. Sharing their isolated realities with diverse communities through various modes of storytelling proves essential in their artwork. Wryly has been practicing puppetry since 2003 and created Moth Orbit Object Theater in 2011. Minah has been exploring multimedia performance since 2007 and co-founded FurryN@vel Performing Arts Collective in 2013. FurryN@vel’s We’ll Need A Piece of Cake Before We Die, a site-specific show at The Cultch was presented at the 2014 rEvolver theatre Festival. Bringing individual expertise together as a new performing arts group, they presented Po-tent City project at the 2020 Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Another component of Po-tent City, Home Squat Home — a multimedia performance installation for storytelling using shadow puppetry and light projections on the surface of a tent, was transformed into a 49 day mobile app performance. An audio excerpt from Home Squat Home was presented at the 2020 Vines Art Festival as a sonic performance. The duo’s collaborative journey, that had begun in early 2018, continues under the name Art Action Earwig from 2020. Earwig’s art practices concern issues beyond national borders, exploring both challenging and inspiring matters of our time that call for actions. We celebrate our personal stories and the conversations that come out of different identities. We mobilize creative access to pressing social and political matters that engender divides in our societies. We are aware that the potentials for change are locked within the issues that cause contention – racial tensions, economic disparities, and environmental justice. With this awareness, we use our personal voices to amplify our concerns and unlock social change. To tell tangible stories, we use mundane objects, theatrical effects, social intervention or ceremony. Besides inviting adults to ponder serious local, national, and global issues through child-like eyes, Earwig has been engaging children through festival workshops, after-school classes, and community education programs.