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Bonnie Devine: The Tecumseh Papers

September 27, 2013 - January 5, 2014

AWE Gallery

Hamilton MacCarthy, Tecumseh, 1896, terracotta, Purchase 1984

The Art Gallery of Windsor is proud to present a solo exhibition by renowned installation artist Bonnie Devine, a member of Serpent River, the First Nation of Northern Ontario (Anishinaabe/ Ojibwa). Drawing on a historical work from the AGW’s collection – terracotta busts of Chief Tecumseh and General Brock, circa 1896 by Hamilton MacCarthy – as a point of departure, Devine has developed a new body of work to celebrate and pay homage to the legacy of Chief Tecumseh whose untimely death marked the end of First Nations resistance in the region. Through large-scale paintings, pictograph drawings, installation and video, the artist will shed light on the pivotal role of The Royal Proclamation,1763, Treaty of Greenville,1795, and, and the Treaty of Ghent, 1814, leading up to and following the War of 1812 on shaping Indigenous histories, cultures and experiences in our present day.In The Tecumseh Papers Devine develops a moving and evocative interpretation of the complex and shared colonial histories that have framed Indigenous and settler relations. Working through the systemic erasure in the canons of history and literature, Devine takes viewers on a compelling journey to re-visit the story of the important Shawnee Chief from a lens of social justice and integrity. 

An exhibition catalogue with essays by Alan Corbiere, Wanda Nanibush, Leanne Simpson is available.

An installation artist, curator, writer and educator, Bonnie Devine is a member of Serpent River First Nation of Northern Ontario (Anishinaabe/Ojibwa). Through her art practice, writing, research and teaching she seeks to further the recognition and development of contemporary Indigenous art and in particular, the story and pictorial tradition of the Anishinaabek.

Her installation and video works have been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Russia and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include Writing Home at Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg; Medicine Basket, Body Bags, at Station Gallery in Whitby, and group shows Changing Hands 3 at the McMichael Canadian Collection in Kleinberg Ontario and the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; Person, Place,Thing at Neutral Ground, Regina, Saskatchewan; We are Here at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis and the National Museum of the American Indian, New York City; The Faraway Nearby at the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste Marie; A Stake in the Ground at Art Mur in Montreal; Crossing Lines, at the Glenhyrst Gallery in Brantford Ontario; and BadLand at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her short videos, A Grim Fairy Tale, and Rooster Rock, the Story of Serpent River have screened at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival and the Arctic Circle Film Festival in Salakhard Russia.

As a curator Devine has worked with emerging and established Aboriginal artists since 1997 and curated The Drawings and Paintings of Daphne Odjig: A Retrospective Exhibition in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Sudbury and the National Gallery of Canada in 2007. The Odjig retrospective toured Canada and the USA until 2010 and was the first solo exhibition by a female Aboriginal artist at the National Gallery of Canada. Devine’s accompanying catalogue broke important ground as the first publication by the National Gallery in the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwa) language.

Devine holds fine art degrees in sculpture and installation from OCAD and York Universities and has received numerous awards and scholarships, including an Eiteljorg Fellowship in 2011. She is an associate professor at OCAD University and is the Founding Chair of OCAD U’s Indigenous Visual Culture Program.

Devine lives and works in Toronto.

Exhibition catalogue: Bonnie Devine: The Tecumseh Papers
Illustrated; 44 pages; introduction by Srimoyee Mitra; essays by Alan Ojiig Corbiere, Wanda Nanibush, Leanne Simpson
Price: $15; available at the AGW Visitor Services kiosk

In this exhibit

Hamilton MacCarthy, Tecumseh, 1896, terracotta, Purchase 1984

Hamilton MacCarthy, Brock, 1896, terracotta, Purchase 1984


Bonnie Devine: The Tecumseh Papers

Bonnie Devine installation view

Accumulation of Winters, (2013)

Bonnie Devine installation view

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