Launched in 2019 by the National Gallery of Canada, Re-Creation aims to expand the Gallery’s exploration of richer and more truthful art histories.
The impetus for this initiative arose from the 2017 opening of the NGC’s Indigenous and Canadian galleries. Working with Indigenous artists, knowledge-keepers, curators, researchers and community members, the NGC is commissioning and supporting the training of contemporary Indigenous artists to create works inspired by — or in dialogue with — historical art forms.
The first commissioned works are the regalia and chiefly possessions of artist and hereditary Chief 7idansuu James Hart, of the Stastas Eagle Clan.
One of the Northwest Coast’s most accomplished artists, Hart is carving the regalia’s frontlet headdress, along with a speaker’s staff and Raven rattle. Haida textile artist and master weaver Lisa Hageman Yahgujanaas, of the Raven moiety, is producing the woven parts of the regalia, including Raven’s Tail chief’s robe, leggings and dance apron.
The work of both artists is currently being documented by Wolastoqiyik filmmaker Jeff Bear, of the Tobique First Nation. Through his company, Urban Rez Productions, Bear will produce a series of short films on the project, spanning a period of roughly two years.