Jan 31 - Apr 13, 2024 Douglas family art centre

Catherine Blackburn: New Age Warriors

In Ancient Tongue

Catherine Blackburn. THE CHURCHILL CHALLENGER . Inkjet on dibond . 121.9 cm x 152.4 cm

Catherine Blackburn melds traditional form with contemporary design in New Age Warriors, using the framework of beading to explore cultural identity, memory, and history. As a jeweller and visual artist, Catherine has worked in painting, quilling, and beading to address Canada’s colonial past through her personal experiences. An exploration of new media and directions in her practice, Catherine has fashioned warrior garments and language medallions from plastic Perler beads in New Age Warriors to show the connection between materiality and Indigenous women’s ability to adapt to their changing environments. Each outfit is an amalgamation of elements in female clothing from different North American nations, honouring the diversity and innovation of traditional Indigenous design.

About the Artist

Catherine Blackburn was born in Patuanak Saskatchewan and is a member of the English River First Nation (Denesųłiné). She is a multidisciplinary artist and jeweller, whose common themes address Canada’s colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Her work grounds itself in the Indigenous feminine and is bound through the ancestral love that stitching suggests. Through stitchwork, she explores Indigenous sovereignty, decolonization, and representation. Her work has exhibited in notable national and international exhibitions including: Radical Stitch, Àbadakone, Santa Fe Haute Couture Fashion Show and Toronto Indigenous Fashion Week.  She has received numerous awards for her work including the Sobey Art Award longlist (2019/2023), a Forge Residency Fellowship (2022), and an Eiteljorg Fellowship (2021).

Catherine wishes to say Mahsi Cho, thank you, to the following artists and designers for their collaborative involvement of New Age Warriors: Tenille Campbell of Sweetmoon Photography, Melanie Parsons, Alano Edzerza, Liss Stender, Tessa Sayers, Razvan Anton, Mélanie LeBlanc, Kacey Beaudry, Natashia Gagnon, and Red Works Photography. We would also like to gratefully acknowledge the support of Catherine’s family and friends whose contributions and support are key components in this project’s fruition.

Did you know?

Painter Frederick Verner was present in at the signing of the North West Angle treaty, (Treaty 3) in 1873. The sketches he made there were the basis for many of his later paintings.