University of Manitoba - School of Art -



Robert Houle  

enuhmo andúhyaun (the road home)

Friday September 7 to Friday October 12, 2012


This exhibition features paintings and drawings from Robert Houle’s Sandy Bay Indian Residential School series. The paintings are based on a series of elegiacally drawn memories of fear and trauma. They celebrate his survival of elementary school abuse. The drawings evoke the ubiquitous blackboards of residential schools, a leitmotif of institutional power, childhood apprehension and confinement, indoctrination and humiliation. In the work, issues of reconciliation and forgiveness are counterpoints to traditional values of letting go of conflict in order to move on. As someone who was punished for speaking his language, Robert Houle has the privilege and responsibility of using Ahnisnabewin proudly in this installation.

Robert Houle is a member of the sandy Bay First Nation, Manitoba and currently lives and works in Toronto. Houle is a contemporary Anishnabe Saulteaux artist with international exhibition experience.

His curating, writing, and teaching has played a significant role in defining indigenous identity. Drawing from Western art conventions he tackles lingering aspects of colonization and its postcolonial aftermath and relying on the objectivity of modernity and the subjectivity of postmodernity he brings aboriginal history into his work. He received a B.A. in Art History from the University of Manitoba, and a B.A. in Art Education from McGill University and studied painting and drawing at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria. In 2004 he was recognized by the University of Manitoba as a distinguished alumnus.

Opening Reception

Thursday September 6, 4:00-7:00 pm

Artist in attendance


Artist Talk and Tour

Friday September 7, 2:00 pm

> Winnipeg Free Press | Drawing away the pain, the terror
CBC Manitoba Scene | SNAPSHOT | Robert Houle celebrates survival with art


> Robert's Paintings | OCT 10


> Robert Houle Catalogue [pdf]