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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
17 Sep 21until2 Jan 22

Faye HeavyShield

New Work

Alvin Balkind Gallery

This is a close-up view of Faye HeavyShield’s beaded sculpture. It is a long unbounded string made of small red beads woven together. The smooth surface of each bead is reflecting the gallery light.

Faye HeavyShield, the red line (detail), 2021. Photo: SITE Photography.

In a career spanning more than thirty years, artist Faye HeavyShield has developed a practice of profound influence, renowned as readily for its poetic use of form and material as its evocative embodiments of memory, community and place. A powerfully concise aesthetic vocabulary gives shape to HeavyShield’s work, one rooted in the topography and texture of her homeland in the foothills of Southern Alberta and her upbringing in the Kainai community. Whether drawing on the winds, grasses and rivers of the Northern Plains; staging scenes redolent of gathering or exchange; or exploring elemental geometries that signal continuities and connections, the objects, images and installations of HeavyShield’s work manifest as extensions of land, language and body.

At the Contemporary Art Gallery, HeavyShield presents a pair of new works in sculpture and drawing, each a meditation on lineage and line. An unbound sculpture, ropelike in form, anchors the exhibition, accompanied by a series of gestural drawings that recall the shape of a memory. Bearing the hallmarks of HeavyShield’s practice—repetition, distillation and material humility—these works extend the artist’s career-long reflections on continuance, on that which connects and sustains.


Faye HeavyShield is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainai (Blood) Nation in the foothills of Southern Alberta. She is a fluent speaker of the Blackfoot language and studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary. HeavyShield has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, including Nations in Urban Landscapes, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; rock paper river, Gallery Connexion, Fredericton; Into the Garden of Angels, The Power Plant, Toronto; and blood, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge. Her work is held in collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg; the Heard Museum, Phoenix; the Glenbow Museum, Calgary; and the MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina.