Richard Asham- Sirens, Sharks & Shipwrecks

Richard Asham

Sirens, Sharks & Shipwrecks

April 14 – May 27, 2023

Opening night: Friday, April 14 from 5pm to 9pm*

*Check our website for updates on what else will happen at the opening event, and to read this writing in Swampy Cree


 Richard Asham is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist of mixed ancestry who most closely identifies with his indigenous Swampy Cree roots. Depending on the swing of the creative pendulum, Rick produces mixed media works (predominantly oil paintings on canvas but also sculptures and assemblages), has written several solo and collaborative books, performed music in bands, and dabbles in film, photography and theatre.



My intent for Sirens, Sharks and Shipwrecks is (admittedly) not particularly linear but will include both two and three-dimensional works. So, here are some thoughts...

  • Sirens- A siren can intimate many different connotations. The wailing of a police, fire, or ambulance siren can announce the imminent arrival of a (mostly unwelcome) authority sent to deal with an unpleasant situation. Warnings. But I am approaching ‘sirens’ from the mythological perspective. Creatures (sometimes called ‘mermaids’) that alternately lured sailors to their deaths and/or offered succor and the prospect of love.
  • Sharks- Misunderstood monsters of the deep. Powerful, primordial. A predatorial mixture of savage power and raw beauty. My work contains many mysterious beasts of land, air, and sea.
  • Shipwrecks- In keeping with the quasi-nautical theme, for hundreds upon hundreds of years ships have been a primary instrument of conquest. The ship’s masters (sailors as alluded to above) were all too often harbingers of death, destruction, and disease but also ambassadors of strange languages and rituals into fantastic new lands. Unfortunate clashes between alien cultures. Voyages to the absolute unknown. Vision quests into dream-like destinations whose exotic promises remained largely unrealized. These landscapes play a central role in my art.


Ihtáwin Mitéw (Urban Shaman): Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery nanáskomow sítoskátowin, kapé askiy otótémowáwa, owícihiwéwak, ihtáwin akwa ká-sítoskákocik, NCI FM, Wawanesa Insurance, Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Heritage, the Government of Canada, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts ~ Miigwetch/ Pidamaya-ye(-do)/ Marsi/ Ekosi / Maarsii/ Miikwehc/ Nakurmiik/ Thank you