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Aboriginal Creators Project: Rebecca Belmore, Dana Claxton, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun 

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Web: Aboriginal Creators Project

Rebecca Belmore, curated by Daina Warren
Dana Claxton, curated by Tania Willard
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, curated by Elaine Moyah

Welcome to the Aboriginal Creators Project

The Aboriginal Creators Project is the third in a series of websites grunt has produced over the past three years. The first in this series, First Nations Performance, curated by Daina Warren and designed by Jay Thompson, features performance work by aboriginal artists produced at grunt over the past 15 years. The comprehensive site contains almost 5 hours of video. The second, First Vision, demonstrates the curatorial vision of three important Vancouver curators and artists—Archer Pechawis, Daina Warren and Tania Willard—using our archives as source material.

The Aboriginal Creators Project brings together the same curatorial team in the creation of retrospective websites focusing on three of Canada's most provocative artists who have not, until now, had such a comprehensive online presence-Rebecca Belmore (curated by Daina Warren), Dana Claxton (curated by Tania Willard) and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (curated by Elaine Moyah). Our sites provide extensive documentation of the artists' work as well as interviews, biographical material and critical writing.

Rebecca Belmore's stark, sleek site features her performances, videos, and exhibitions, as well as biographical information and critical writing by Jolene Rickard and Lee-Ann Martin from source texts. Mostly, the site just lets the work speak for itself, giving web browsers an in-depth look at her myriad productions. Belmore's work is already well known in Canada and, increasingly, on an international level after being included in Biennales in Venice, Havana, Sydney and Tirana as well as InSite in Santa Fe. Before now there has been no one reference to give viewers an overall sense of her achievement. Aboriginal Creators has developed a resource for students, audiences and arts professionals, allowing them to see the breadth of this important body of work.

Dana Claxton's media productions have developed over the past 20 years into a singular body of work, initially focused on her anger at the situation of the First Nations in North America and later evolving into aboriginal ideas of spirituality and the sacred translated into performance, film, video, installation, and photography. The site is very full with downloadable essays by Monika Kin Gagnon, Lynne Bell and Bea Medicine reprinted from source texts. An essay and interview by curator Tania Willard completes the site, which makes Claxton's work available in its entirety to a wide audience in an easily navigated and information-rich site.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun's site is a visually rich experience highlighting the paintings and other works by this essential British Columbian artist. The retrospective section offers a strong selection of Yuxweluptun's 2D work from the past 20 years, including his surrealist political works and the abstracts. The interdisciplinary section features his works in digital media, 3D and performance. Critical texts by curator Scott Watson and art historian Charlotte Townsend-Gault, and an hour-long audio interview with CBC Idea's host, Paul Kennedy, are made available for download on the site's home page. The interview and essays trace Yuxweluptun's concerns, ranging from the mistreatment of aboriginal communities to the destruction of our environment. He is truly a history painter for us all.

These three sites give Canadian and international audiences an opportunity to explore in depth the work of these important artists. At grunt we are just beginning to develop educational programming; brunt and our websites represent a resource for teachers and students both in Canada and beyond. The sites demonstrate the vitality and quality of art being produced in Canada during the present time.

I would be remiss not to credit the fine web design and construction by Archer Pechawis. Thanks to him and to the curators for their work. Also thanks to Mary Ann Anderson for her administrative support, Hillary Wood for her editing, and to the writers who have kindly allowed their work to be reproduced here. Finally, thanks to the artists themselves for their participation in this project.

The Aboriginal Creators Project is funded through Heritage Canada's Gateway Project Canada Culture Online, a program dedicated to making First Nations cultural material available to all Canadians. We gratefully acknowledge the support from the Gateway Program for making all this possible.

Enjoy these sites and check out brunt, the print and online journal of our activities. Together they represent a rich resource of contemporary work in Canada.


Glenn Alteen