Friday, May 21st at 6 pm MST
Please join us Friday, May 21st at 6pm MST for a conversation with current exhibiting artist Bruno Canadien and artist, writer, curator, Angela Schenstead. Come listen to them speak about Bruno Canadien’s exhibition Séot’įe:
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.
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.
Angela Marie Schenstead was born and raised in Saskatoon, and is a member of One Arrow First Nation (nêhiyawak), Treaty 6, Saskatchewan. She earned a Fine Art Diploma from Grant MacEwan University, Edmonton (2003), and a BFA in Ceramics from Alberta College of Art + Design, Calgary (2007). She has been based in Banff since 2007, where she serves as an arts administrator at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Her artistic practice is informed by her experience growing up in an intercultural and mixed-race family, who value both urban and rural lifestyles. Themes she often considers in her work include Indigeneity, identity, place, kinship, language, land, water, environmental concerns, and the effects of systemic racism and colonialism. Her visual and text-based works have been featured in various exhibitions and publications across Canada. Recent activities include working with ReMatriate Collective to co-curate the exhibition qaʔ yexw – water honours us: Womxn and Waterways with Beth Carter, curator at Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver (2019); and contributing an audio and text-based work to A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of intervention: Six writers respond to six sculptures, a work by Aislinn Thomas and Shannon Finnegan commissioned by Jacqueline Bell, curator at Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2019-2021). In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors and is happiest walking in the bush or swimming in fresh water.