from an early age revisited (2014-2016)


from an early age revisited (1994, 2016) is a body of work that draws upon photographs I made in 1994.
Although this series was early in my art practice it explores key concerns that continue to
preoccupy my practice. At the time, I became increasingly aware of the color of my skin. I
started to examine my background through snapshots that my parents, primarily my mother, had
taken in the early 1960s of the family. I looked at my family album, hoping it would reveal clues
about my identity. When talking about my art work, particularly these works, I often recall the
time I was sitting in the bathtub trying to scrub my tan off. My mother asked what I was doing
and I told her that no matter how much I scrubbed and scrubbed I couldn’t get my tan off. I
wanted to look like her. She told me that my dad had “Indian blood” and I had “Indian blood” and
that was why my tan would not come off. We didn’t talk about it much until many years later
when I started exploring my Métis heritage. Since that time, I have made many bodies of work
dealing with identity. I have previliged photography as a medium. More recently, I have started
to paint. I see painting as an extension of my photography that, for the most part, relies heavily
on collaging through Photoshop. I have adapted this fluid way of working to revisit my “straight”
photographs. Through painting, I challenge my engagement with my subject matter. I deepen
my inquiries into their significance through an extended creative process that also contests the
instantaneity of the photograph. Most importantly, the process of reworking images
complements how I have always treated my subject matter, especially ideas of identity, which I
see as rooted in histories and traditions, but also adaptable and in flux.