Brenda Petays (CAN) 8/2018

Brenda Petays was examining "becoming Finnish" during her residency period.
Brenda Petays. 2018. KulttuuriKauppila Art Centre. Photo: Jaani Föhr

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 immigrant 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 feels Finnish without being Finnish….an accident of being lost.

In residence she was examining and participating in “becoming Finnish” and translated these ideas into images and objects. She worked 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 organized an exhibition Samasta puusta veistetty at Nättepori.

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