Artist Casey Koyczan collected driftwood from the Red River to pay tribute to victims of violence
'Gone but not forgotten' shows the interconnectedness of trauma in Indigenous communities
Over the years, a startling number of people have been found along the Red and Assiniboine Rivers around Winnipeg, in Manitoba. The driftwood and leaves around the rivers are laden with memories of Indigenous men, women and girls.
In the work of artist Casey Koyczan, it's those natural materials that lament and honour the spirit of the people whose lives were taken — and, more largely, the injustices faced by First Nations people every day.
Watch the video:
To create Gone but not Forgotten, his massive installation for the Winnipeg Art Gallery's Insurgence/Resurgence exhibition, Koyczan formed the piece from driftwood held together by intricate knots.
The artist visited Winnipeg and harvested driftwood for the installation along the river. And he hopes that by bringing those materials into the gallery space, he has also brought something belonging to those who lost their lives.
In this video, you'll spend time with Koyczan back at his home in Yellowknife, where he shows you the harvesting process and what it means to him to knot driftwood, spirits and memory together.
Note: Casey Koyczan also composed the music used in this video.
This video is a part of a series profiling artists from the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit in collaboration with CBC Arts and CBC Indigenous. Check out the other videos here.
Watch CBC Arts: Exhibitionists online or on CBC Television. Tune in Friday nights at 11:30pm (12am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT).