Brenda Petays is working with painting, drawing, installation and performance art, including the elements of body, time, space, story and action in an ongoing examination of what might be considered art making.
She is Canadian born of Finnish descent – which interests her, confuses her and challenges her. In a respectful way she asks, what did her ancestors invite her to do? What have they asked her to create? She grew up in the New Finland colony in southeast Saskatchewan, surrounded by immigrants Finnish peasant farmers like her parents and grandparents. Recently her cousins deconstructed an immigrant log house in New Finland with her, and shipped it to be reconstructed at The Finnish Emigrant Museum in Peräseinäjoki.
She fells Finnish without being Finnish….an accident of being lost.
In residence she plans to examine and participate in “becoming Finnish” and translate these ideas into images and objects. She will work with ice, birch bark, stone and other organic materials –– a nature versus nurture debate about human behavior –– is it determined by the environment or by a person’s genes.
At the end of the August she organizes an exhibition.