Brody Burns

No Words Necessary

August 28th - September 8th, 2023

Gordon Snelgrove Gallery, open Monday to Friday, 10-4pm; closed Monday, September 4th

Closing Reception: September 8th, from 7-10pm

No Words Necessary explores the emotions and concepts that go beyond language and Western understanding of what constitutes knowledge. In this exhibition, I attempt to visualize that which cannot be described through a human-centred understanding of the world. It is my exploration in searching for and depicting the Creator using acrylic paint, oil paint, and digital media.

The abstract figures in my work are involved in ceremony, prayer, or meditation as a way of connecting with the Creator. It is these processes in my own life that have allowed me to heal and persevere throughout my academic journey. Reinterpreting old reference photos dating from the 1800s onward has allowed me to depict what my ancestors had as medicine to overcome their challenges.

Both the figures depicted and the paintings themselves contain energy. Together they represent the energy and emotion that connects everyone and everything. Like synapses firing in the brain, information is communicated between all beings physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Augmented Reality (AR) has allowed me to visualize the spirit world as it relates to my paintings. While the spirit world is always around us, it remains unseen.  Using contemporary digital tools like AR, I am able to refigure traditional knowledges and concepts in the perceptual realm.


Big Red, painting on canvas, 2022.
James Smith, painting on canvas, 2023.

About the Artist

My name is Brody Burns, I’m from James Smith Treaty 6 territory. I live in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Saskatchewan in 2021. My work explores the visualization of spirit and energy using abstract paintings done in acrylic, oil, and augmented reality. Digital media has allowed me to go beyond paintings to reimage Tradition Knowledge and concepts that are important to me. I have received various awards to continue my education in the Master of Fine Arts program at the U of S such as the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant, the Graduate Teaching Fellowship grant, the Ohpinamake award and the Graduate Scholarship Award, to name a few.