Bonnie Devine is an installation artist, video maker, curator and writer. Her work emerges from the storytelling and image-making traditions that are central to Anishinaabe culture. Though formally educated in sculpture and installation art at OCAD and York Universities, Devine’s most enduring learning came from her grandparents, who were trappers at Genaabaajing (Serpent River) First Nation, on the north shore of Lake Huron. Using cross-disciplinary approaches and iterations of written, visual and performative practice, Devine explores issues of land, environment, treaty, history and narrative.
Her installation, video and curatorial projects have been shown in solo and group exhibitions and film festivals across Canada and abroad. She is an Associate Professor Emerita and the Founding Chair of the Indigenous Visual Culture program at OCAD University. She lives and works in Toronto.
“[Devine’s] impactful art practice, commitment to bringing forth an Indigenous voice, contribution to revisionist research and post-secondary education—particularly for Indigenous students—make her a candidate worthy of this honour.
Devine’s art practice and research has stimulated change and inspired action. It has had a powerful impact, reverberating within the cultural community and planting seeds for much-needed healing and reconciliation.
Her voice speaks heart to heart, eye to eye, fiercely compassionate yet determined to reveal the true underpinning of our culture. There is something urgent about Devine’s work that draws from the past and projects into the future, creating ongoing resonance. At a time when the world is in great need of transformation, Devine’s work offers a path to new possibilities by reminding us of our histories. This assertion of the Anishinaabek is a gift to learn from.”
Nominator: Celeste Scopelites, Director. On behalf of the Art Gallery of Peterborough
“Devine’s art practice and research has stimulated change and inspired action. It has had a powerful impact, reverberating within the cultural community and planting seeds for much-needed healing and reconciliation.”