PEOPLE WHO KEEP ME GOING
As mentioned in my bio, I am inspired a lot by other Indigenous artists and thinkers that are out there in the contemporary world.
One of my favorite artists is Brian Jungen. I was never really exposed to Indigenous artists as a youth so my scope for understanding what artists the same race as me were doing out there was extremely limited. My first year at AUARTS is when I first got introduced to Brian. Ever since I saw the shoe sculptures that used cut-up Air Jordans to create faux indigenous masks such as 'Intimidation Mask' and the giant skeletal plastic chair animals in 'Shapeshifter', I was interested in what art could do in pushing indigenous messages. Listening to his artist talks gave me so much insight into what it means being a an Indigenous person who creates art,
Meryl McMaster is another artist that really got to me as a Indigenous artist. I saw 'Ancestral' at the Glenbow Museum a while back and the images resonated with me in an bittersweet way. Experiencing her work so close to home made it apparent to me the scope of outreach art can have. She made me realize that no matter the medium, the message takes precedent. Don't limit the medium if it takes away from the message, integrate it so they work in tandem with each other.
One of my personal favorite Indigenous thinkers, Thomas King has been integral in my growth as an indigenous artist. What I took away from Thomas was to always look at the worlds critically, understand yourself in context of your surroundings. One of his works that influenced my practice the most is 'The Truth About Stories: The Native Narrative'.
Lastly, I want to talk about an artist that I have been inspired by more recently, Steven Paul Judd. As I'm starting to familiarize myself with more contemporary Indigenous artists, I began to really appreciate Steven's work. There is an aspect to his that does appeal to a mass audience, but in a way that gives visibility to marginalized Indigenous identities (Indigenous geeks, Indigenous skaters). From creating Indigenous graphic novels (Rez Detectives), to working with community-led Indigenous clothing brands such as The NTVS . His work pushes me to continue in making community and home a important aspect in my art practice.