Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun evokes a spectrum of emotions with ‘Unceded Territories’

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Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun takes on corporate bosses in his latest works. Photo by Amanda Siebert.

Aboriginal artist’s new Museum of Anthropology exhibition grapples with Canada’s colonial past

By Matt Meuse, CBC News, May 10, 2016

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun has been an artist since he was five years old, living in a residential school.

When the law was finally changed to allow him to leave the school, he encountered the work of artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Michelangelo for the first time.

“We’re not talking about some other foreign country,” he told The Early Edition‘s Margaret Gallagher. “We’re talking about Canada, that had to change the law for a native to leave the reservation. What kind of democracy are we really talking about?”

Needless to say, themes of Canada’s colonial past run deep in Yuxweluptun’s work, and he’s not afraid to be outspoken about it.

A new show at ‘the morgue’

Yuxweluptun’s paintings are instantly recognizable for his distinctive use of colour and surrealism in depictions of West Coast imagery, drawing on his Coast Salish and Okanagan background.

A collection of his work is currently on display at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology in a new show called “Unceded Territories.” It’s the first time Yuxweluptun’s work has been displayed at the museum — an institution he has long referred to as “the morgue.”

“[The Museum of Anthropology] is a colonial measurement of the destruction of somebody else’s culture,” he said. “I think that I am painting destruction. What better place to bring it to?”

For Yuxweluptun, the role of the artist is endlessly multifaceted.

“I’m there to entertain you. I’m there to make you cry,” he said. “I’m there for you to hate me. I’m there to make you love me. I’m there to give you joy. I’m there to make you upset.”

“I’m there to make you think.”

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun creates confrontation by canvas at the Museum of Anthropology

A 40-year survey of the artist’s work tackles issues from racism to pipelines

Posted on May 11, 2016, in Decolonization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Dolphin and commented:
    I wish he would paint something about the Black Hills and about poisoning South Dakota with nuclear waste…they are now building a highway around Lead, which is where the *cough* nuclear research facility is being built (or already built — the media is glaringly NOT reporting on it AT ALL unless it’s a quick blurb with nary a word about the devastating effects of nuclear radiation)…

  1. Pingback: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun evokes a spectrum of emotions with ‘Unceded Territories’ — Warrior Publications | GoodnightNina.

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