|Mask by Shane Perley-Dutcher|
|Basket by Shane Perley-Dutcher|
Balance is a lifelong journey. The pieces created for Twisted Path III, Questions of Balance reflect the struggles of our people, our identity. Recognizing that I live much differently than my ancestors, I face challenges they did not have. I was not brought up making traditional artwork - I learned through my own artistic journey. The fight to keep traditional knowledge alive is present in the production of aboriginal artwork itself. My connection to the land is sacred. I need the land for my spiritual and mental well-being. Every ash basket, metal basket, birch basket, birchbark canoe, wooden mask, and piece of jewelry I've made has come from a place of love and respect for my culture.
I feel like a walking contradiction because I consider the land sacred, but at the same time I live in a way that disrespects that relationship. Twisted Path, to me, means that we live in a world that is full of contradictions on many levels. Balance in the face of contradictions is a daily exercise - I am still pushing forward knowing I am evolving as a Maliseet and as an artist. In my culture we believe in lifelong learning, and it is through this principle that I am learning how to find balance in the twisted path I face every day.
|Get Comfortable, 2012, Digital print|
Born in Sitka, Alaska, Nicholas Galanin, Tlingit/Aleut, has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and the course of his practice. Having trained in "traditional" as well as "contemporary" approached to art, he pursues them both in parallel paths. His stunning bodies of work simultaneously preserve his culture and explore new perceptual territory.
Galanin studied at the London Guildhall University, where he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts with honors in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing and at Massey University in New Zealand, earning a Master’s degree in Indigenous Visual Arts. Valuing his culture as highly as his individuality, Galanin has created an unusual path for himself. He deftly navigates “the politics of cultural representation”, as he balances both ends of the aesthetic spectrum. With a fiercely independent spirit, Galanin has found the best of both worlds and has given them back to his audience in stunning form.
|The State of Being, Displaced, 2013, Digital print|