Artist Statement - Painting Practice
My work mimics my personal style in a way that is somewhat autobiographical in terms of folks in my communities. I like the idea of queering ideas of self-presentation and regalia, the ways in which we present ourselves and the communities we are from. There are a lot of lived experience motivations to it. Theoretically, I’m capturing survivance and desire, countering damage centered narratives that are tied to Indigenous communities and the conspicuous consumption of queer Indigenized trauma.
I hope people leave with a sense of being seen with a sense of hope, and the ways in which futures can be built. It's really about resistance and denying commodification of trauma and violence. It's about transforming our relations and the things that we all as agents of colonialism and oppression (willingly and unwillingly) partake in, intervening at the level of governmentality. I’m trying to get the viewer to entangle themselves in the project of colonialism, through a queer lens that is focused on joy and pleasure.
I would like people to leave with a sense of, a world-building, pleasure-centred resistance and joy. I’m really interested in that transformative aspect - the work I do is engaging with issues of representation, social interaction and social systems, and material access. My intentions are to contribute to the representation in arts of Indigeneity and especially in relation to the folks and experiences, which are not often seen (for example, Indigiqueer femmes).
My intent is fluid and reflects the realities of lived lives. Using art as a reconnection with culture, with land and with each other, is important, and being vulnerable or being willing to learn in public is challenging, especially in relation to investigating the effects colonization has had on my identity and being willing to share this. I make this work especially for my queer Indigenous kin in mind. I make work that I wish I had access to as I was growing up and coming to understand and inhabit my identities, and I know this sentiment is shared often, but I don’t think people fully understand how important this is, how impactful this can be for the spirit.
Paintings made with the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council.