1953 (age 64–65)|
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
|Known for||Sculpture, Installation|
Edward Poitras (born in 1953) is a Métis artist based in Regina, Saskatchewan. His work, mixed-media sculptures and installations, explores the themes of history, treaties, colonialism, and life both in urban spaces and on Indian reserves.
Early life and education
Poitras studied with Sarain Stump at the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural College in 1974 and then with Mexican Aboriginal artist Domingo Cisneros at Manitou College in La Macaza, Quebec from 1975-1976.
Poitras has had his work exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Finland. Since 1980, his work has usually been included in major contemporary Aboriginal exhibitions.
Poitras has taught at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (1976-1978), the University of Manitoba (1978) and the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College at the University of Regina (now First Nations University of Canada) from 1981-1984 and 1989-1990.
His work is included in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Mendel Art Gallery, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and the Canadian Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.
Several of Poitras's early installations, including Day Break Sentinel (1983), Big Iron Sky (1984), and Internal Recall (1986–88), incorporated suspended figures. In the last of these, "seven life-size figures kneel with their hands bound with rope that attaches to the ceiling; on the wall, words associated with the signing of treaties with First Nations on the prairies act as connecting links between the act of binding and the notion of binding contracts, as well as the legacy of broken promises."
Poitras has used a variety of materials in his art, including stone, weathered prairie bone, traditional beadwork and historical photos, sometimes alongside transistor boards, electrical wires, audio tapes and plastics.
Selected solo exhibitions
- "Horses Fly Too", Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, 1984
- "Indian Territory" Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, 1988
- The Power Plant, Toronto (1989)
- Galerie Articule, Montreal (1991)
- "Three Lemons and a Dead Coyote", Ottawa School of Art, Ottawa, 1993
- "Jaw Rez", Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, (1996)
- Western Front Society, Vancouver (1998)
- RESIG/NATION, Galerie Le lieu, Quebec City, 2000
- "Qu’Appelle: Tales of Two Valleys", (travelling exhibition organized by Mendel Art Gallery), 2002
Selected group exhibitions
- Canadian Biennial of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1989
- "Indingena", Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, 1992
- "Borderzones", UBC Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2010