Brett Graham: Pioneer
September 2, 2017 to February 4, 2018
A prairie schooner/grain wagon fabricated in Regina by Brett Graham, an artist of Maori and European descent from Aotearoa (New Zealand), considers the prairies as ocean and the tide of settlers as a flood that overwhelmed and devastated the Plains First Nations. Giving form to the lingering racism and misunderstanding that permeates the national consciousness to this day, Graham’s hybrid sculpture was created for the Neutral Ground exhibition WANTED: An Exhibition of Objects of Dread and Desire in 2015 and is a promised donation to the MacKenzie. The sculpture was inspired by the artist’s reading of James Daschuk’s Clearing the Plains, a book which describes, in chilling detail, the politics of ethnocide by which the Canadian plains were cleared for settlement. This exhibition is presented as part of Transformative Landscapes: Contemplating Space, Time, and Connection.
About Brett Graham
Brett Graham is an artist from the sub-tribe Ngati Koroki Kahukura, Aotearoa (New Zealand). His work explores his dual Maori and European heritage and the issues affecting Pacific and Indigenous peoples today through installations that distill complex histories into striking sculptural forms. Graham has exhibited at the Sydney Biennale (2010, 2006) and his collaboration with Rachael Rakena was exhibited at the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007). His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery of Australia and Te Papa Museum of New Zealand.