Picking Up the Kids by Bracken Hanuse Corlett
Dzunuk'wa the Giantess, is a prominent figure in Indigenous oral storytelling on the Pacific Northwest coast. She is known to capture children who wander too far from home and she places them in her red cedar basket, which is strapped to her back. She is also often outmaneuvered by the children who devise cunning plans to escape her. In this piece I imagine them as a tired parent trying their best to travel with their mischievous kids. If you've ever been on the road with your kids, this is a salute in your direction.
I mainly work with ancestral forms and narrative, which makes most of my work a “throwback.” A big part in learning this Art form is studying historical works. With practice, you get to a place where you make work without having to look back as much, but it is still an essential tool to gaining a new understanding of our Art and oral stories. In creating this piece I looked at three artist's works: Mungo Martin, Chief Henry Speck and Charlie James. All three of these artists were pivotal in the reclamation and continuum of Kwakwaka'wakw Art forms. All three of these gentlemen made work before and after the Potlatch Ban, which outlawed our ceremonial and visual practice. I am drawn to their work and their ability to use traditional form with free flowing shapes, colour and dimension.
Acrylic, paint pen, Acrylic Gouache on paper. Framed.
Size: 22.5"W x 30"H
Artist: Bracken Hanuse Corlett