Primary Colours

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Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires is a multi-year arts initiative which began in 2016. Its main objective is to place Indigenous arts at the centre of the Canadian arts system. Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires also asserts that creative practices by artists of colour, who have roots around the world, play a critical role in imagining the future(s) of Canadian art making.

Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires works to de-centre the Western world art lens in order to better understand the complexity of Indigenous art forms and those from various communities of colour. This is explored by updating the 30 year old arts conversations regarding race, ethnicity, colonialism, cultural/racial diversity, racism in the arts – to name just a few areas – and by proposing new frames for the future.

Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires recognizes that IBPoC artists, their art practices and their communities are at the heart of the conversations that are creating these new framings. This will inevitably concern recent intersecting discourses – for examples: decolonization, conciliation/reconciliation, Indigenization, creative sovereignty, unsettling settlers, post-postcoloniality, artistic self-determination.

Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires generates new knowledge on the current and future state of the art practices and cultural relationships among Indigenous artists, artists from settler communities and artists of colour. This is elaborated by listening to multiple, sometimes dissonant, art histories from across this land.

Primary Colours/Couleurs primaires believes that artists have the vision to imagine and articulate new futures for the territory that we now call Canada.

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