Interdisciplinary artist hails from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations

Bracken Hanuse Corlett’s week-long residency in Campbell River began after dark on Tuesday evening (October 4) using a projection to trace the design of his mural onto the sea can.

With those initial lines in place, the painting and community engagement began the following day.

“I have been thinking about painting this SeaCan for quite a few months and as the days turned to nights I always came back to the Sisiutl (Double-Headed Sea Serpent) as a box design,” said Hanuse Corlett in his artist statement. “The Sisiutl carries teachings of choice and balance. I was taught that the Sisiutl is a carrier of Truth above Deceit and Love over Hate.”

Middle Face – Sisitutl Box, a rendering of the image that will be painted on the mural. Bracken Hanuse Corlett

The sea can, which is parked by Spirit Square is used by the Downtown BIA as well as the Community Action Team, for storage. 

“The Sea Can’s shape has some similarities to our Bentwood Boxes that we use in ceremony/Potlatch and for storing sacred and everyday items,” Hanuse Corlett continued.

It was sandblasted and primed by peers with lived experience, through a partnership with CAT and the Downtown BIA. 

Hanuse Corlett hails from the Wuikinuxv, whose traditional territory is located on the shores of Rivers Inlet and Owikeno Lake, and the Klahoose, whose traditional territory spans Cortes Island to Toba Inlet.

“This project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, through funding the CRAG received to create opportunities for remote Indigenous communities around the North Island and Discovery Islands to engage with professional art. I was thrilled when Bracken accepted to work on this mural, as it will create strong connections with our Klahoose neighbours, many of whom frequent Campbell River for business, pleasure, and essentials. They now get to see their culture represented here, with the net community benefit of beautifying our downtown public spaces. It’s a win for everyone.”

He will be joined by members of the gallery’s Art Hive as well as members of the Klahoose nation. People are invited to watch him work and to ask questions. The project continues all week and is expected to be done by Oct. 11.

The Campbell River Art Gallery will be hosting an official unveiling and blessing Wednesday, Oct. 12 at noon in Spirit Square. We look forward to the Campbell River community coming out to support this incredible Artist in their contribution to our community’s public art.

By BlueTree Photography

Hanuse Corlett initially worked in theatre and performance before shifting to his current practice that fuses painting and drawing with digital-media, audio-visual performance, animation and narrative. 

He graduated from the En’owkin Centre for Indigenous Art and then went to school at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, while also receiving training in Northwest Coast art, design and carving from acclaimed Heiltsuk Artists Bradley Hunt and his sons Shawn and Dean. 

Working with and researching ancestral forms is central to his work as well as an openness to working with new media and tools. 

Much of his current process is collaborative, which includes working with youth, community and fellow working artists. 

He has exhibited, performed and screened his work locally and internationally and has received public art commissions in a number of cities/territories. 

Find him on Instagram @wuulhu