Wet’suwet’en, British Columbia by Arthur Renwick
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Pigment print on archival paper flush mounted to archival board
From the series “First Nations Churches in British Columbia”
Signed, titled, dated, and editioned, in pencil, au mount verso
Printed circa 2007
Edition of 5 (#1/5)
Photo-based artist Arthur Renwick (Haisla) was born in Kitimat, British Columbia, in 1965, received fine arts degrees from both Vancouver Community College (1986) and Emily Carr University of Art + Design (1989) in Vancouver, and received his Master of Fine Arts (1993) from Concordia University in Montréal. Renwick creates thoughtfully crafted works that combine photography with wood, aluminum, and copper. In addition to having received numerous Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council awards, Renwick won the K. M. Hunter Artist Award in 2005.
Arthur Renwick (1965- , Canadian)
This work by Toronto-based First Nations photographer, Arthur Renwick is from a series he produced entitled, First Nations Churches in British Columbia. These photographs were created in 2005 after Renwick returned to his ancestral home and he photographed several church sites within First Nations communities.
Many of these sites, some of which were built in the late 19th century, act as a symbol of the cultural assimilation programs imposed on the First Nations groups at that time by the Canadian government. During the first half of the 20th century, Christianity was used to fill the void created as a result of the government’s outlawing of First Nations spiritual and cultural practices. While many First Nations people still embrace and practice Christianity today, other traditional rituals have been incorporated into their faith. As such, these physical sites have born witness to the trajectory of First Nations cultural battles and community life.
Place like home: The art of Arthur Renwick - Rabble, June 2009