Bracken Hanuse Corlett

Wild Woman (work in progress) - red cedar, acrylic 2008 'Follow the Leader', acrylic, watercolour on paper 2009 'It's only a mountain', acrylic on canvas 2007 'Life n Death Dancers', acrylic and watercolour on paper 2009
'Self Portrait', acrylic on canvas 2008 'Art School Goggles', Red cedar, acrylic, screws, elastic 2008 'Kvulus Thunderbird Transformer', yellow cedar, acrylic, yellow cedar bark strips, Eagle feather 2008


Bracken Hanuse Corlett is an Northwest Coast multi-media artist hailing from the Wuikinuxv and Klahoose Nations. He dabbles in video, sound, painting, carving/sculpture, writing and performance. His work deals with themes of cultural reclamation and survival, identity politics, hybridity, and decolonization. Much of his work is relevant to his Northwest Coast Indigenous roots and he is spending much of his time these days exploring the stories, language, songs, and art of his people. He is also inspired by art movements like agit-pop, manga, the dadas and other diverse forms of expression. He has exhibited and/or performed in Vancouver, the Okanagan, Chicago and Oregon. A recent graduate of the En’owkin Centre for Indigenous Art, he will be finishing his fine arts degree at UBC – Okanagan over the next couple of years. On December 27th 2008 he welcomed his first-born child into the world, a little boy named Skekemxikst which means Little Bear Paw.

Artist Statement

As a multidisciplinary artist I feel myself being pulled in many directions. This drift…attach…detach…drift…re-attach is part of my process. I cannot choose to focus on one discipline for too long, as I will begin to feel emptiness within other parts of me. If my practice has a base, it is the written word. I write short stories, news articles, freeverse and other scribblings that have and haven’t been published. These days I am mostly immersed in painting, drawing, and carving, using traditional coastal forms and mediums and ideas as well as “Western” ones. Including this in my artistic regimen filled up a lot of my remaining empty bits. Art was historically intertwined in the lives of Northwest Coast People and it still is today. I wish to continue this symbiosis with creation. Movement and performance is also a part of my art bundle. The physical act of performance is a refreshing step away from the constant sitting required to be a visual artist. I also mess around with video and sound and see this as another way to show what’s going on in my insides. Cultural continuum and de-colonization are two strong focuses in my art. The spirits, stories, smiles, images, and dances of my People soak my brain and keep me moving towards the creative process. I hope to make art that has a social purpose without coming off as a crazed politician or preacher. It’s hard not to look at this world of industry, spectacle and war as anything but a nightmare, but I listen to the memories in my blood and use this source to show me the way. I explore fusions between styles, movements and mediums. The art I make is inherently connected to being a mixed blood Indigenous person living in the present day, guided by the breath of my ancestors.


This experimental video work produced with the Alternator Gallery in conjunction with Jayce Salloum, focusses on Aboriginal rights and social justice. Hip Hop soundtracks and video clips from Bracken's arts and activism are edited together in a music video like format. This video contrasts urban Aboriginal experience and the persistence of the wild within the urban.

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"Blackhawk... American Hero"
A video documentation of Bracken Hanuse as he attempts to install an art piece in Chicago USA, at the United Centre on the Michael Jordan Statue. Exploring the origin of Native leader Blackhawk who led an uprising against the United States this video seeks to restore Blackhawk as a Hero and not the Chicago team logo mascot he has become to many Americans. Using art as activism Bracken responds to the tokenization and stereotyping of Native people as mascots by labeling Blackhawk a Hero.

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"Quqva (to drift)"
An experimental film Quqva ( to drift ) features Bracken in a performative audioscape puntuated by drifitng images of ocean, shore, big house, mountains and the artist wearing and becoming the mask. Episodes of silence and electronic audisocapes give a sense of a mixing and drifting continuum of identity explored in the film. Accompanying the identity continuum theme in the video this piece also explores the natural world as sensitive and at risk, footage of salmon decomposing on the beach suggest both a natural cycle as well as the impact of fish farms in Coastal territories and wild salmon.

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