April 23 – June 5, 2021
By individual and household appointment only.
Stride Gallery is pleased to announce our Main Space exhibition Séot’ı̨e by Bruno Canadien. Through the act of painting portraits of Canadien’s loved ones, the artist takes a tender approach to family, relations, non-material inheritance and gifts. Canadien speaks of this new body of work:
At its foundation, this project memorializes my relatives who have passed on (7 of the 9 people featured have passed on between 1969 and 2019) and celebrates their lives and holds them close in our family’s hearts. Dene floral designs in beadwork and paint by myself and my aunts embellish this work in an act of care. Most of these portraits will be gifted to siblings, cousins, and aunts after the exhibition at Stride Gallery.
This work means many things to me. Painting the likenesses of my mother and brother in particular, to honour them in this way, has been a hard yet fulfilling and meaningful undertaking. More so than the recent floral paintings which embody abstract cultural concepts linked to and in honour of family, these portraits bring family close and really embody my relatives themselves. Or maybe I’m just new to the illusion of portraiture. At any rate, to have their images surround me these past few months as we isolate ourselves has been sad, comforting and joyful, and reminds me that I belong to a big family who come from a beautiful country.
Dear family, please accept these gifts to remember your loved ones by, and forgive my lack of great skill. Mahsicho to Albertine and Elsie for your lovely contributions.
This exhibit is dedicated to Quinn and Isaiah, the 1,500th (or so) generation of Dene descendants.
Dene Zhati Glossary
Séot’ı̨e – My relatives
Setsú – My grandmother
Emǫ́ǫ – My (maternal) aunt
Sóot’ı̨e – My cousin
Sechee – My younger brother
Sedéé – My younger sister
Setsıe – My grandfather
Semǫ – My mother
Mechıe – His/Her younger brother
Mezhaa – Her/His son
Medené – His/Her husband
Héɂı – deceased
Gots’eh – and
The artist would like to thank Calgary Arts Development’s Original Peoples Investment Program for their generous funding of this project.
Bruno Canadien is a member of the Deh Gah Got’ı́é Kǫ́ę́ First Nation, a Deh Cho Region member of the Dene Nation.
Canadien’s art practice is primarily focused on addressing issues surrounding the intersection of First Nations/Tribal sovereignty, resource exploitation and environmental concerns. Using collage, adornment, painting and drawing, Canadien presents evidence of contemporary Indigenous presence and resistance throughout his work. His work has evoked concern Indigenous communities in so-called western Canada and the U.S. have for their territories in the face of aggressive oil and gas exploration and extraction. As a member of a northern First Nation and a resident of the province of Alberta, this issue carries personal resonance for Canadien, especially in regards to the effects of the Athabasca Tarsands development, which is located upstream from his home community of Fort Providence, within the MacKenzie-Peace watershed.
Canadien’s work can be found in private and public collections, including Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Glenbow Museum, Nickle Galleries and the Indigenous Art Centre.
Bruno currently resides in the Moh’kinsstis (Calgary) area, gratefully grounding himself in the landscapes and traditional territories of the Siksikaitsitapi, Tsuut’ina and Îethka Nakoda Wîcastabi nations.