Meryl McMaster (b. 1988), Edge of a Moment, 2017, Giclée print. Courtesy of the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.

Meryl McMaster

nikihci-âniskotâpân | bloodline


Organized and circulated by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

in partnership with Remai Modern

Through nikihci-âniskotâpân bloodline, viewers are immersed in Meryl McMaster’s works, past and present, witnessing her explorations of family history, identity and ties to her ancestors. This survey exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of her career, showcasing the visual art of a remarkable Canadian artist whose trailblazing large-scale photographic works reflect her mixed nêhiyaw/Métis and Anglo/Dutch ancestry.

Meryl McMaster (b. 1988) is a leading voice in art today, making large-scale photographic self-portraits that explore her mixed nêhiyaw/Métis and Anglo/Dutch ancestry. nikihci-âniskotâpân bloodline includes some of her earliest works and continues up to the past year, showcasing the breadth of her creativity and exploration from 2008 to 2023.

While some of her earliest works infuse historical representations of Indigenous peoples with more contemporary expressions, others suggest a sort of imaginative repossession of the land, articulated in dreamlike scenarios. Her elaborate costumes, which she crafts herself, embody the blended strains of her ancestry, often echoing historical garments and ceremonial regalia.

McMaster’s more recent works picture the artist on the home territory of her father’s Plains Cree family on Red Pheasant Cree Nation in central Saskatchewan. The newest of these reach for connection across time to the three generations of remarkable Plains Cree and Métis women who came before her in the family line. As McMaster puts it, “While we may never know the full truths of our ancestors, we can still hold their memories close to our hearts.”

Now a mother herself, she continues to delve for the roots of her cultural identity, expanding her practice in this exhibition to include film for the first time.

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