Traditionally, the subject of the portrait remains at the mercy of the viewer. I chose to paint Elijah Cardinal-Whitford, a Metis man in a strong demeanor. In my painting, Power & Vulnerability, Elijah stares straight at the viewer seeking to interrogate and focus on the gaze that is historically casted onto Indigenous people in art. This work strives to build contemporary relationships with the sitter, the artist and the viewer. I used red and green light to contrast his face to represent the power and vulnerability in each colour on either side of his face. The painting shows a more traditional sitting position doubled with a rich colour palette to bring out a playfulness amongst the intensity of this work.
Lauren Crazybull, born in 1994 in Canada, is an Edmonton based Blackfoot, Dene visual artist. Lauren’s most recent work has looked to explore the tension and power within portraiture by examining the subtle relationship between herself and the subjects she paints. By centering the gaze, beauty and rich humanity of fellow Indigenous people in her recent work, Lauren means to ask poignant questions about how Indigenous identities can be represented, experienced, celebrated and understood through the particular gaze that artistry casts and requires. In 2019, Lauren was appointed as Alberta’s first Artist in Residence. In 2018, she was awarded the McLuhan house year long studio residency. Before fully immersing into the visual art world, Lauren worked for 4 years in radio and broadcasting focusing on Indigenous issues. Following that, she worked for 2 years as the art coordinator at a centre for at-risk youth. Through this work, she understands that her creative power is a poignant way to assert her own humanity, and advocate, in diverse and subtle ways, for the innate intellectual, spiritual, creative and political fortitude of Indigenous people.
– 2019 Alberta Artist in Residence
– 2018 McLuhan House Artist in Residence
– The Aviary Solo Show (March 2019)
– McMullen Gallery Solo Show (June – August 2019)
– Briarpatch Magazine Cover & Spot Illustration (May 2019)
– Walrus Magazine Spot Illustration (April 2018)
– Penguin Random House Promotional Art for “There There” book launch (June 2018)
– Canadian Art Magazine (June 2017)
– Canadian Art Magazine & DC3 Gallery – Commissioned Mural (June 2018)
– Art Coordinator – iHuman Youth Society (2016 – 2018)
– Set Designer – “Kiitistsinnoniks” Making Treaty 7 (Fall 2018)