Here & Now - Lisa Brawn

Date: Apr 16, 2024

About the artworks

The three artworks are carved and painted woodcuts on curved oak chair backs salvaged from the renovation of the Martha Cohen Theatre in Calgary. (Click arrows above on either side of the image to see each work.)

These artworks are included in the Here & Now exhibition at the Royal Alberta Museum until September 29, 2024. Learn more about the exhibition.

The AFA acquired these three artworks through its Art Acquisition by Application program in 2023. This program is designed to acquire contemporary works of art by any eligible Alberta artist.

Artist statement

Lisa Brawn is represented in the exhibition by three works. Excerpts from the artist statement for each work are below. 

Black Lagoon P.R. Reputation Laundering

Read the full statement

Black Lagoon P.R. pays homage to bottom feeder opportunists who are able to spin outrageously heinous actions into victimization and even saintliness. We can buy a team of lawyers and communications specialists to re-characterize our ruthless pillaging and carpet bombing as innocuous oatmeal cookies and daisy garlands. Maximalist Public Relation absurdities are an integral component of a dystopian mediascape, and low hanging fruit for parody. 

HELLO, my name is: Fact-based Reality

Read the full statement.

With each of us in our bespoke algorithm-funnelled information silos, the concept of fact-based reality feels like a quaint relic. So elusive yet plausible, it could only be represented as a mythical beast. Is it real? Was it ever real? Once upon a time? Only in Paradise? 

Risk Management for Introverts

Read the full statement.

Here is a viable coping mechanism as demonstrated by The Invisible Man ca. 1933. This one is personal. I have to devise elaborate workarounds to present myself non-anonymously in public. I am predisposed to introversion, and the world is particularly unsafe for LGBTQ2, which I discovered personally by coming out in high school in the 80s. 


About the artist

Lisa Brawn is a Calgary based artist specializing in painted woodcut blocks. Her work is in public collections such as The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Calgary Civic Art Collection, and The University of Lethbridge collection, as well as in private collections across Canada, Europe, and the United States. Her work has been featured on banners for Calgary Bridges, Calgary Parks, and Fort Calgary, and there is a large scale permanent installation of her woodblocks at Inglewood’s Festival Hall.

A major component of Lisa’s art practice has been exploring the possibilities for alternative art venues and project spaces. Starting in 2001, her artmobile in a 1935 vintage travel trailer was followed by an art salon in Calgary’s Grain Exchange building. Lisa then collaborated with Milo Dlouhy and Angela Inglis to transform a downtown warehouse into an artist-run gallery and Museum of Oddities.

In 2007, Brawn, Dlouhy, and Inglis collaborated on a storefront museum in Art Central, and in 2009 and 2010, Brawn and Inglis collaborated with Jane Grace on an interdisciplinary project space in a hundred year old cottage. In 2009 Brawn transformed a 1962 Airstream into a second mobile gallery, The Bambi Media Machine, which was featured in the film “I Liked You Better Before” directed by Michal Lavi. From 2007 to 2012, Lisa curated a window gallery with Inglis and Grace, known as La Fenêtre.

In her twenty year career as a professional artist, Lisa has been featured in 25 solo exhibitions and participated in more than 40 group exhibitions from Victoria, Seattle and Los Angeles, to Halifax, Chicago and New Orleans. She received international attention for her large scale interactive, solar-powered sculptural installation, Helios, at the Leighton Art Centre, which was featured on CBC’s As It Happens, and picked up by media outlets from Canada to Brazil.

Go to the exhibition