Woven – Catherine Blackburn

May 2015 - August 2015

Catherine Blackburn

Woven is an interlacing of different themes in my work with the subject of family being the common thread that binds these themes together.

This exhibition is an extension of my past work that continues to be inspired by the close people in my life. Through the subject of family, I am inspired to express my own feelings and experiences which speak to the complexities of memory, history and cultural identity. I have chosen certain subjects as a way of reflecting and resolving my own feelings of disconnectedness. Recently my painted work has evolved to include a narrative approach as I prompt the viewer to explore their own story in which they may find similar themes and connections.

My art merges contemporary concepts while referencing elements of traditional Dene culture. I am interested in the significance and history of materials and their role in the fur trade. For example, beadwork represents enthusiasm for new materials as well as cultural exchange. This direct relationship to my European and Dene heritage challenges and allows me to create innovative work that encourages dialogue between traditional art forms and new interpretations of them.

Through these overlapping themes of relationships, history, and identity, I hope to weave a strong message of connection, kinship, and resiliency as I explore my own journey and feelings. I encourage the viewer to reflect on their own experiences and to explore and question how we all define and appreciate the Aboriginal experience in Canada.

Image Credit-Catherine Blackburn “Grandma” 2011, acrylic on canvas, collection of Mann Art Gallery