Art as a Voice of Decolonization (and what the heck is a medicine painting and why?)

Join us at the Sooke library for a talk by Sandy Bay Ojibway First Nation Member and Indigenous artist, Giizhig Bruce Barry. He will speak about his art piece, “UNKNOW”, which is on display in the library for a limited time, and the concept of medicine painting and art as a voice of decolonization.

“UNKNOW” is a visual response to Indian Residential Schools’ unmarked graves and discarded Indigenous Children. To forget and ignore history is to unknow. What people ought to unknow are ideals of colonization and imperialism.

Here, Celestial beings, animals and plants remind the “unknown” children they, in fact, are not forgotten, nor alone and will return home and their inherited traditions and culture.

Read more about the painting here.

About the artist

Giizhig Bruce Barry is a prominent Anishinaabe/Ojibway Indigenous visual artist, writer, filmmaker, and a member of the Sandy Bay Ojibway Nation. He is renowned for robust visual narratives grounded in authentic individual and Collective stories of Indigenous people, animals, and others. In addition to his art widely noted on the poster for the Clint Eastwood film Indian Horse, his art is collected in private and public collections internationally, where he is seen as part of the Indigenous artistic traditions that have always formed part of the resistance against all attempts at extinguishment of traditional peoples and their worldview.


Instagram: brucebarryart

Twitter: @BruceBarryArt