iN Tote Bag Artwork

Beat Strong
By Catherine Blackburn

Congratulations to Catherine Blackburn, whose image is featured on imagineNATIVE’s 2016 Delegate Bags.

Catherine’s work was selected as the winning submission to the Tote Bag Artwork collaboration between imagineNATIVE and Setsuné Indigenous Fashion Incubator.

Beat Strong

Beat Strong

Catherine Blackburn

Catherine Blackburn

Artist Statement:

This work speaks to strength of culture, survival and renewal. Regardless of the hurdles that stand in our way as First Nations people, our resiliency is unwavering. The heart of this design is a symbol of survival, the floral pattern inside it a symbol of our rich culture, and the growth of the wild rose bud to full bloom a symbol of our resistance to be silenced. Through joined voices there is a strengthened awakening amongst First Nations people, speaking to our needs for equality, for answers to our missing and murdered Aboriginal men and women, and our fight to keep our lands protected. Through our response to all join hands and stand in solidarity in this fight to be heard, we can look to the future with optimism, knowing our people continue to be empowered by strength of community. 

Born in northern Saskatchewan and raised in rural Saskatchewan, Catherine Blackburn (Dene) received her BFA at the University of Saskatchewan. Catherine works predominantly in the areas of painting and beadwork. She has received numerous grants and awards for her work, including a Governor General’s History Award for her painting Grandma and the highly recognized Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant. She is affiliated with Slate Fine Art Gallery in Regina, Mann Art Gallery in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, as well as Alcheringa Gallery in Victoria, BC. Catherine’s work embraces two inspirations in her life: family and culture. While she will continue to explore personal narratives in her work, she hopes to push the boundaries of how we define and appreciate the Aboriginal experience in Canada.