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Item Name: Mixed Media
Title: ee
Maker: Catherine Blackburn
Year: 2017
Country: European and Dene heritage
Materials: beads, pins, gel photo transfer, 24 kt gold-plated beads, seed beads
Measurements: 6" x 9"
ID Number: PC2017.36

Extended Label Info: Canadian artist Catherine Blackburn was born in Patunak, Saskatchewan. She is of Dene and European descent and a member of the English River First Nation. Blackburn is a bead artist, painter and jeweler whose common themes address Canada's colonial past that are often prompted by personal narratives. Her art merges contemporary concepts with elements of traditional Dene culture, simultaneously exploring the significance and history of certain materials and their role in the fur trade. Her innovative works encourages dialogue between traditional art forms and new interpretations of them. In these works, Catherine depicts beaded tongues displaying words and images that are of the Dene culture. Theses works allude to the residential school’s practice of poking a pin through the tongues of children who speak their own language as punishment. Her work highlights the resiliency of Dene culture and history while utilizing traditional beadwork. Catherine Blackburn grew up in Choiceland, Saskatchewan. She holds a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan. She has exhibited in numerous exhibitions across Canada and has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including a Governor General History award. In 2017, Blackburn received the RBC Emerging Artist Award at the Saskatchewan Arts Awards and in 2019, she was short-listed for the prestigious Sobey award.