“I explore questions relating to how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture.”
My photography based artistic practice follows a path of self-discovery. Within my work I explore questions relating to how we construct our sense of self through lineage, history and culture. These questions often arise from transformative experiences I have had while exploring remote natural landscapes. By way of these challenging experiences I often arrive at a heightened understanding of myself. In the process I become highly attuned to my surroundings and begin to contemplate my relationship with others and my place in the world. At the conclusion of these journeys I always come away feeling nourished with a refreshed perspective on my life. These adventures are a part of a greater process of making my own identity more transparent to me. Returning home from nature, I continue this process of self-discovery by exploring these themes in my art practice. I create portraits and self-portraits that reflect my current interest in identity, sometimes in studio and often in the wild. I create surreal, dream-like images that evoke the world in which our selves can be better explored and understood. My practice extends beyond photography by incorporating other artistic media into the construction of my images and the expression of my ideas. In addition to the spontaneity of photography my work takes advantage of the thoughtful production of props or sculptural garments, improvisational performance and quiet self-reflection. This synergy allows me to create surreal and enigmatic imagery that, I hope, transports viewers out of the ordinary.
Meryl McMaster is a Plains Cree/Blackfoot visual artist living in Ottawa.