Twilight Hour: Brenda Draney
From John Brennan
Brenda Draney (b. 1976, Canadian) is Cree from The Sawridge First Nation, Treaty 8, with a strong connection to Slave Lake. Draney’s work is shown and collected internationally including the National Gallery of Canada, NS-Dokumentationszentrum München, the Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Gordon Smith Gallery, Walter Phillips Gallery, the Sobey Foundation, and the Shorefast Foundation. She won both the 2009 RBC Painting Competition and 2014’s Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize and was short listed for the 2016 Sobey Art Award at the National Gallery of Canada.
In her practice, Draney provides a glimpse into the human experiences of memory retention, preparedness, isolation, sexuality, dominance, and trauma. Draney’s work has been described as “the absence of presence” because much of her canvas is left blank. Draney examines structures that are in some ways protective, but in other ways vulnerable. Her paintings honour the absence that spans the unknown or unspoken, whilst respecting spaces of vulnerability. Draney does not attempt to dominate these spaces but provides enough tools for viewers to place their own narrative.