Commissioned for the Burnaby Art Gallery, Squamish artist James Harry and Lauren Brevner created Shù7mayus, Skwxwú7mesh for “come face to face with spirit”, as a statement of presence, both of the past and future, for Indigenous peoples in the place now known as Burnaby. The piece responds to the colonial Arts and Crafts architecture of the building with classic Coast Salish style, using circles, crescents, and trigons in negative space to portray the figure of a woman and thunderbird, mirrored.
James Harry was born of Squamish Nation and Namgis descent, and began carving in early childhood with his father, Xwalacktun. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2014, and completed an internship in the United Kingdom in 2011, where he learned metal casting. Harry’s diverse portfolio includes cedar carvings, metal carvings, light installations, and murals, including large-scale and prominent public art pieces across Canada and the US.
Lauren Brevner is a multidisciplinary artist. Her Japanese-Trinidadian heritage deeply inspires her practice with a focus on matriarchal influence. Her work combines traditional approaches to portrait painting with themes of cultural identity and female representation. Her education has been nurtured through community relations, including a mentorship with artist and designer Sin Nakayamal in Osaka, Japan, expanding her approach to perseverance and creative purpose. Her work has been featured across multiple platforms, including exhibitions, civic projects, and print publications.