Norman Barney: A Continuing Saga

Norman Barney: A Continuing Saga

April 26 – June 10, 2023

165 King St. W, Chatham
Ontario, Canada


A Continuing Saga reflects Norman Barney’s concern about the troubled history of First Nations peoples and their resilience. This show will take place in Chatham, Ontario, a city within a short distance of several Reservations. Having an Ojibway grandfather who was silent about his indigenous heritage and befriending various First Nations peoples has given Norman empathy for the problems these people face in the present and is the theme of this show.


God Watches but Does Nothing, 2023. Mixed media, 29 x 29 in.

The idea of a continuing saga is also a theme for Norm’s own struggles with his mental health. He has always felt like an outsider in the Canadian art world, within Canadian society, and as a child In the United States because his parent’s anti war and anti-racist stance caused kickback from his teachers and peers.


Spirit Lake, 2010. Mixed media, 29 x 29 in. 


Norman often has said that he needs to make art to feel grounded, to lessen his anxiety, and to feel positive about himself. He refers to himself as a conduit for his art which is unplanned and unfolds as he produces the artwork. He finds this a magical and spiritual experience. Norman believes that the action of making art is the real and true art which brings freedom to one’s spirit.

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