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Item Name: Painting
Title: Nexus (Dragonfly)
Maker: David Garneau
Year: 2010
Country: Metis; Canadian
Materials: acrylic on canvas
Measurements: overall: 152 cm x 122 cm
ID Number: PC2010.7
Legal Status: PERMANENT COLLECTION


Extended Label Info: If you look closely, you can see two images in this painting. At first glance this image shows the top of a tipi, known in Cree as migawap. For the Plains Cree, the tipi functions as a structure for both shelter and teaching; the Elders use the parts of the tipi to demonstrate important cultural values of community and family. The second image in this painting is of a dragonfly, visible in the pattern of the painted dots. To create this effect, the artist David Garneau uses a pointillist technique to apply his paint. This method is similar to First Nations and Métis beadwork embroidery in which beads are sewn in a textured pattern that is different than the shapes created by their colours. The dragonfly is a motif with many different meanings in cultures around the world. For example, in the Americas, the NorthWest Coastal cultures use the dragonfly to symbolizes change, transformation and maturity. For others, the dragonfly represents the ancestral wisdom. By layering images together, Garneau invites us to consider the deeper cultural meanings held in the subject matter he has painted. David Garneau (1962- ) is a Métis artist, writer and curator whose family roots are from Edmonton, Treaty 6 territory. Currently based in Regina as Associate Professor in Fine Arts at the University of Regina, Garneau earned a BFA in Painting and Drawing, and MA in English literature from the University of Calgary. Garneau’s work focuses on painting, curation, critical writing, and creative expressions of contemporary Indigenous identities. His artwork has been exhibited internationally, and is held in numerous private and public collections, including The Canadian History Museum; the Canadian Parliament buildings; the NONAM museum, Zurich; and the Musée de la civilisation, Montreal.