Brad Assu - Poo Glee Dee
Artist in Residence
Brad Assu’s family heritage is well documented: his maternal grandfather was Chief James Sewid and his paternal grandfather was Chief Harry Assu. Both of these gentlemen played instrumental roles in guiding Brad’s cultural and traditional development. Both were authors, Chief Sewid who penned, “Guests Never Leave Hungry” and Chief Assu who along with Joy Inglis, wrote “The Assu of Cape Mudge. This lasting legacy of words and wisdom set by his elders continues to inspire Brad, as do the stories and songs of his great-grandfather, Chief Billy Assu.
Brad, whose Kwak’wala name is “Poo Glee Dee”, which means “guests never leave hungry” developed his love and inspiration for the art of his people by watching his aunt, artist Dora Cook. He drew inspiration from others like Mungo Martin and Charlie James who created many of the original pieces in the family’s Potlatch collection.
In addition to his retail offerings available through our gift shop, Brad has also designed exclusive merchandise that he allows the Centre to use for fundraising purposes. He has worked on several key installations for Nuyumbalees, including the restoration of the Dick Family Welcome Poles, the Aw Wah Qwetz das poles, and currently the Assu Family House Posts. He is a strong contributor to the Centre’s Annual Art Auction. His work includes cedar carvings, water colours, and nautical marine charts which he embellishes with many local boats, including the BCP-45 which was owned by Chief Harry Assu and featured on the back of the Canadian five dollar bill. In following his traditional teachings, Brad works within the crests associated with his family’s lineage.
Born to Chief Donald and Louisa Assu, Brad and his three brothers grew up in the Village of Cape Mudge where he continues to live. A seasoned mariner, Brad works as a First Mate for BC Ferries and when time permits, on the family owned fishing boat.