“I am analogue to the core about my work and it stems not from stubbornness but from a desire to feel the materials in my hands.”
Most of my practice is experimental 16mm films, projection performance and handmade emulsion. I am analogue to the core about my work and it stems not from stubbornness but from a desire to feel the materials in my hands. I try to make the practice of shooting film closer to the act of drawing, which is my first love and the driving force behind what I do. In my work, film is both an evocative vehicle for exploring themes in the works, and the theme itself.
Much of my works are moving-picture portraits. I’ve also studied notions of home movies (and other small formats), how they are crafted, consumed and their social function in the realm of nostalgia; how they relate to other memorabilia, the souvenir. These inform my drawing and film work in various and sometimes surprising ways. I am interested in the notion of prosthetic memories and the mediums I use express a desire to know what has been lost, obscured long ago by the passage of time, which is something that is also expressed in my film work. Many of my films explore a deep but fractured connection to personal and family history in Nunavut. My Inuit matrilineal heritage has been woven through several, as they record, refract, and obscure the past in images and sounds. To me, they are all forms of drawing.
Current long-term work (2011-16): advancing the art, science and practice of handmade emulsions. There are many goals to this, but among them is not to produce a commercial stock. Making handmade emulsion is more like collaborating with someone that you care for deeply. I am 1 of 20 or so artists working in this field worldwide.
“I seek to support and uplift Indigenous youth and Two-Spirit artists through mentorship and collaboration.”
I am foremost a musician working within viola performance, contemporary composition and improvisation, electronic production, and percussion. My artistic practice is strongly interdisciplinary, and I work within digital video and photography as both inspiration for, and sites to integrate my music. Strongly embedded within my compositions for viola are Anishinaabeg philosophies, language, experiences, and landscapes. My goal, especially as a musician playing an instrument derived from the Western art music canon, is to expand the boundaries of both Anishinaabeg artistic practice and classical music convention. My music is heard on stages as a solo performer, as a collaborative artist with other musicians, and within composition and sound design for Indigenous theater and film productions. Service to Indigenous communities through the arts is a core value, and working as an educator and workshop facilitator within music and the media arts, I seek to support and uplift Indigenous youth and Two-Spirit artists through mentorship and collaboration. In addition to my core music and media arts practice, I am active on the powwow trail as a grass dancer and bead and sew my own regalia.
Melody McKiver is a musician and interdisciplinary artist of Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) descent living in Ottawa.
Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Lac Seul First Nation, Treaty #3
“She approaches her interpretation away from the classical tradition, using her indigenous viewpoint to interpret classic flute repertoire.”
Jesse McMann-Sparvier is an emerging musician, contemporary dancer and choreographer. She is a classically trained flutist, graduating in June 2016 with her Bachelor of Music from the University of Calgary. Her research focus has been contemporary music, and improvisation. She studied for two years in the Jazz Studies program at the University of Manitoba, studying Jazz Flute. She can contribute as a soloist, or as an ensemble performer/side musician in Jazz, Classical, Indie, Funk, and many other styles.
Jesse has a huge love for classical, baroque and french music. She approaches her interpretation away from the classical tradition, using her indigenous viewpoint to interpret classic flute repertoire. She seeks out Indigenous composers from around the world who have composed for classical and world flutes, and re-appropriates music written by non-indigenous composers who have been "influenced" by indigenous music. In addition, her new compositions in music have started to explore / create contemporary soundscapes steeped in Indigeneity to accompany spoken words that process our presence interlaced with indigenous identity and the body as politics. She uses a wide variety of modern, unusual and traditional instruments to create exciting new sounds.
Jessica McMann is a Cowessess musician from Calgary, Alberta.
Region or community
“I explore questions relating to how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture.”
My photography based artistic practice follows a path of self-discovery. Within my work I explore questions relating to how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture. These questions often arise from transformative experiences I have had while exploring remote natural landscapes. By way of these challenging experiences I often arrive at a heightened understanding of myself. In the process I become highly attuned to my surroundings and begin to contemplate my relationship with others and my place in the world. At the conclusion of these journeys I always come away feeling nourished with a refreshed perspective on my life. These adventures are a part of a greater process of making my own identity more transparent to me. Returning home from nature, I continue this process of self-discovery by exploring these themes in my art practice. I create portraits and self-portraits that reflect my current interest in identity, sometimes in studio and often in the wild. I create surreal, dream-like images that evoke the world in which our selves can be better explored and understood. My practice extends beyond photography by incorporating other artistic media into the construction of my images and the expression of my ideas. In addition to the spontaneity of photography my work takes advantage of the thoughtful production of props or sculptural garments, improvisational performance and quiet self-reflection. This synergy allows me to create surreal and enigmatic imagery that, I hope, transports viewers out of the ordinary.
Meryl McMaster is a Plains Cree/Blackfoot visual artist living in Ottawa.
Plains Cree/Blackfoot and a member of the Siksika First Nation