Sonny Assu

Sonny Assu (Liǥwildaʼx̱w of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations) was raised in North Delta, BC, over 250 km away from his home ancestral home on Vancouver Island. Having been raised as your everyday average suburbanite, it wasn't until he was eight years old that he discovered his Liǥwildax̱w/Kwakwaka’wakw heritage. Later in life, this discovery would be the conceptual focal point that helped launch his unique art practice.

Assu's artistic practice is diverse: spanning painting, sculpture, photography, digital art and printmaking. Sonny negotiates Western and Kwakwaka’wakw principles of art making as a means of exploring his family history and the experiences of being an Indigenous person in the colonial state of Canada. 

Having cut his teeth in Vancouver's art scene, Assu packed up and moved to Montreal to be with the love of his life. Five years later, along with his wife and beautiful daughter, Sonny moved back to BC, eventually settling back "home" in unceded Liǥwildaʼx̱w territory (Campbell River, BC.).

Assu received his BFA from the Emily Carr University in 2002 and was the recipient of their distinguished alumni award in 2006. He received the BC Creative Achievement Award in First Nations art in 2011 and was thrice long-listed for the Sobey Art Award. He received his MFA from Concordia University in 2017 and was one of the Laureates for the 2017 REVEAL - Indigenous Art Awards.

His work has been accepted into the National Gallery of Canada, Seattle Art Museum, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Hydro Quebec, Lotto Quebec and in various other public and private collections across Canada, the United States and the UK.

Sonny Assu: A Selective History
Format: Paperback
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

A stunning retrospective highlighting the playfulness, power, and subversive spirit of Northwest Coast Indigenous artist Sonny Assu.

Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting more than 120 full-colour works, including several never-before-exhibited pieces.

Through analytical essays and personal narratives, Richard Van Camp, Marianne Nicolson, Candice Hopkins, and Ellyn Walker provide brilliant commentary on Assu’s practice, its meaning in the context of contemporary art, and its wider significance in the struggle for Indigenous cultural and political autonomy. Exploring themes of Indigenous rights, consumerism, branding, humour, and the ways in which history informs contemporary ideas and identities, Sonny Assu: A Selective History is the first major full-scale book to pay tribute to this important, prolific, and vibrant figure in the Canadian contemporary art world.

Reviews
"Educators and students will find numerous access points and opportunities to examine our nation's beliefs, actions, words, and legislation. [This book] also invites readers to knowledgeably and compassionately consider how we can reconcile all that has been with all that can be"—Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools 2018-2019

"Framed by contributions from some of our brightest Indigenous intellectuals, Sonny Assu’s canvas is more than an examination of how Indigenous Peoples respond to the Canadian experience. His witty and gentle hand offers Canada a mirror to consider its own scarred identity."—Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

“This brilliant book not only provides readers with an overview of the career of one of Canada’s most important artists but also links his development to the contemporary creative practices of First Nations artists in BC politics and history—the intersection of stories with visual expression. All this unveils historical truths and artistic insights that elevate Sonny Assu to greatness." —Dr. Ron Burnett, Order of Canada, Order of BC. President and vice-chancellor, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Educator Information
Recommended for Grades 9-12 for these subjects: Art Education, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
224 pages | 8.50" x 10.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$34.95

Quantity:
This Place: 150 Years Retold
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 9; 10; 11; 12;

Explore the last 150 years through the eyes of Indigenous creators in the graphic novel anthology, This Place: 150 Years Retold.
Watch for new stories and familiar characters:

  • Métis businesswoman Annie Bannatyne and Louis Riel
  • Oka Crisis, Meech Lake Accord, and Kelowna Accord
  • the Berger Inquiry into the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline
  • Jack Fiddler, an Anishinaabe shaman charged as a serial killer
  • Rosie, an Inuk girl coming of age during WWII
  • wâpanacâhkos, an Indigenous woman sent back from the future to the early 2000s
  • fishing raids and salmon wars in Listuguj, Quebec
  • Francis Pegahmagabow, WWI sniper and veterans’ rights activist
  • the impact of the Sixties Scoop and the child welfare system
  • Chief Billy Assu and the potlatch bans in British Columbia

Reviews
Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair, one of contributors, says the book is, an “opportunity to shine a light on the stories most Canadians haven’t heard, to learn from Indigenous communities from 1867 to present day—whether these stories are influenced by the creation of Canada or not." 

Educator Information
This graphic novel is recommended for ages 15+.

Additional Information
250 Pages

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork
$34.00

Coming Soon

    Contact Us:

  • Suite 1 - 1970 Island Diesel Way
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada, V9S 5W8
    Phone: 250.758.4287
    Toll Free: 1.888.278.2202
© Copyright 2005 - 2019 Strong Nations Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Shipping Policy.