The 2016 Sobey Art Award: The New Masters, Part 1

In today's art we often glimpse the future. The Sobey Art Award celebrates the best in Canadian contemporary art by artists aged 40 and under, awarding a total of $100,000 to five selected artists -- of which half goes to the winner. Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists.
Brenda Draney, Evacuation, 2013 oil on canvas, 3 × 4 feet (Sarah Fuller)
Listen to the full episode54:00

In today's art we often glimpse the future. The Sobey Art Award celebrates the best in Canadian contemporary art by artists aged 40 and under, awarding a total of $100,000 to five selected artists -- of which half goes to the winner. Over two shows, IDEAS profiles the five regional finalists: from the West Coast & Yukon: Jeremy Shaw; Prairies and the North: Brenda Draney; Ontario: Charles Stankievech; Quebec: Hajra Waheed; The Atlantic: William Robinson. The programs are produced in partnership with The National Gallery of Canada


IDEAS producer Mary Lynk speaks with three of the 2016 Sobey Art Award finalists - Brenda Draney, William Robinson and Hajra Waheed. Part 2 airs Wednesday, March 22.  **This episode originally aired December 21, 2016.
 

A tribute to the late Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook


Annie Pootoogook was awarded the Sobey Art Award in 2006. She came from a Cape Dorset family of prominent artists. But her work was more raw than the famous drawings and prints of her mother and grandmother. Annie illuminated the harshness, at times, of life in the north -- her experiences with addictions and physical abuse. She also created works of joy and humour. Annie died tragically just weeks the 2016 Sobey Art Award Gala.
"Dr. Phil" by Annie Pootoogook


 

 

2016 Sobey Art Award finalists Brenda Draney, William Robinson & Hajra Waheed

Brenda Draney, Tent, 2013 oil on canvas, 91.45 × 121.9 cm Courtesy of the Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre (Sarah Fuller)
Brenda Draney is the finalist representing the Prairies and the North.

Brenda is foremost a painter -- her images are full of bold colours on large canvases, that often have unpainted, blank sections -- a striking statement about our inability to remember everything. These blank spots add an almost ghost-like feel to her art.

The potency of Brenda's art has won her acclaim: In 2009, she won the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Brenda is Cree, originally from the Sawridge First Nation, on Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta. many of her paintings reflect her childhood growing up there. These days, she lives and paints a bit further south, in Edmonton.


Robinson's Liberation Snare from 2014 is a mixed media installation and performance. (Lenny Mullins)
William Robinson is the 2016 Sobey Art Award finalist representing the Atlantic.

The Halifax-based artist works with a variety of media - installations, performance, video, musical composition, sculpture and printed material. One particularly compelling aspect of his work, is pulling music from the architectural bones of a building, taking architectural drawings and transferring them into a musical score.



Hajra Waheed, Our Naufrage 1–10, 2014 gouache on Masonite, mounted in brass and wood, 14 × 17 cm each Courtesy of the artist (Vipul Sangoi)
Hajra Waheed is the 2016 Sobey Art Award finalist representing Quebec. She was born in Calgary, but is now based in Montreal.

Hajra's practice ranges from collage, to video, sound and sculpture. Her work can be found in numerous permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and The British Museum. Hajra's art mines both the personal and the universal. From observations about geopolitics: covert power, mass surveillance, the trauma of displacement, to her life growing up in a gated oil company town in the Saudi Arabian desert.

** This episode was produced by Mary Lynk 

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