Sonny Assu: A Selective History
Sonny Assu (Liǥwildaʼx̱w of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his home ancestral home Campbell River. Having been raised as your everyday average suburbanite, it wasn’t until he was eight years old that he discovered his Liǥwildaʼx̱w/Kwakwaka’wakw heritage. Later in life, this discovery would be the conceptual focal point of his contemporary art practice.
Join Sonny as he reflects on his politically charged, often humorous and diverse work. Guests are encouraged to stay for refreshments and a meet & greet with the artist in the Tidemark Gallery, directly following his talk. This is a free event and everyone is welcome!
About the Book:
A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.
Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting more than 120 full-colour works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.
Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Richard Van Camp, Marianne Nicolson, Candice Hopkins, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humour, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the Canadian contemporary art world.
“Sonny Assu’s eclectic blending of formline aesthetic and popular culture is amplified by a medley of contributors’ voices telling stories, revealing history, and setting the stage for Assu’s critiques of past and current colonial atrocities. Essays provide key insights into current modes of resilience and resistance by Assu and his generation of Indigenous artists. Assu’s clever artist statements, through humor and biting commentary, reveal obsessions with popular culture, ignorance of stinging histories, and demand that we question personal responsibility.” – Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, curator of Northwest Native Art, Burke Museum
“Framed by contributions from some of our brightest indigenous intellectuals. Sonny Assus’ canvas is more than an examination of how Indigenous Peoples respond to the Canadian experience. His witty and gentle hand offers Canada a mirror to consider its own scarred identity.”- Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, mny.ca
Admission is free!