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Christian Chapman exhibits in Toronto

Thursday November 24, 2011

Fort William’s Christian Chapman described the humour in his work during the Nov. 17 opening of his latest exhibition at the Thunderbird Aboriginal Arts, Culture and Entrepreneur Centre in Toronto.

“I like to incorporate humour into my work,” Chapman said, noting his work, The Seven Fire Prophets, is based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. “There was definitely a lot of humour in the work I showed.”

Chapman produced the work during an artist-in-residency program in Finland in April.

His work was included in Aanikoobijigani Gikinoohamaagewinan: Noonkom ishinamowinan Ancestral Teachings: Contemporary Perspectives, which featured the work of 10 Aboriginal artists from across Canada, including Christi Belcourt, Metis from Espanola; Erika A. Iserhoff, Cree from Toronto; Ursula A. Johnson, Mi’kmaq from Halifax, N.S.; Clayton Samuel King, Anishinabe from Barrie; Amy Malbeuf, Metis from Rich Lake, Alta.; Niki Mulder, Nisga’a from Brownsburg-Chatham, Que.; Taqralik Partridge, Inuit from Montreal; Eddy Robinson, Anishinabe from Mississauga; and Janice Toulouse, Anishinabe from Garden River.

“It was the first time I ever exhibited my work in Toronto,” Chapman said. “It’s the kind of place where you meet a lot of people and you make connections at these events.”

The exhibition was curated by Vanessa Dion Fletcher, a Potawatomi/Lenape curatorial intern at the Thunderbird Arts, Culture and Entrepreneur Centre, to explore the values and lessons from traditional oral culture in a modern context, using the Anishinabe story of the Seven Grandfather Teachings as its central theme.

“Seeing other people’s work definitely puts a different spin on the way you see certain ideas,” Chapman said about the exhibition.

Chapman is planning to head across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand from Nov. 28-Dec 21 to learn a new printmaking technique through funding from the Ontario Arts Council.

“It’s going to be a pretty eye-opening experience,” Chapman said. “From what I hear, it’s going to be in the subtropics. It’ll be a lot warmer down there than here, for sure.”

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