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THE ART OF ROSALIE FAVELL

ROSALIE FAVELL was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Much of her work draws upon both her family history and Métis (Cree/English) heritage that goes back many generations in the Winnipeg and surrounding areas. She also uses other sources to present a complex self-portrait of her experiences as a contemporary aboriginal woman. In addition to scouring her family albums for visual material, she finds inspiration in popular culture, and has incorporated a number of Warrior women from television series and movies into her works. Recent work undertakes a spiritual quest, drawing upon a number of religions and beliefs. In 1998, she earned an MFA from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. She is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Cultural Mediations at Carleton University.

 

ROSALIE FAVELL - ARTIST STATMENT


My quest to find my place in the world has taken me many places physically, intellectually and spiritually. My work comes from a culmination of searching for a way to comment on the worlds that I live in, investigating issues of personal and cultural identities. The images from Plain(s) Warrior Artist depict my struggle to find my place in the world and provide sources to explore my questioning of cultural constructs.

In earlier work Longing and Not Belonging (1997-99) I explored the similarities between the family photo album and the ledger art of the plains warrior artist at the turn of the nineteenth century that acted as a record of the exploits and history of the maker. This work also explored the realization of the heroes in my life, strong women... my mother, my sisters, my aunts and my grandmothers. I placed images of these women with warrior women from popular culture that in turn highlighted their quiet heroism. In this work I had turned to family snapshots in hopes that by re-visiting my early years that I would discover visual evidence, clues to explain the shaping of my identity and to better situate myself as a contemporary native woman.

The images from Plain(s) Warrior Artist series depict this continuing struggle to find my place in the world only a shift has occurred, instead of looking outside for a hero, I become one. I had always been searching for a hero and found one in the television character of Xena Warrior Princess. My work has always been diaristic and serial in nature and I took this a step further and situated my character within the context of Plains Ledger art that chronicled the lives of Plain(s) Warrior Artist. I fashioned my character based upon my fictional hero and the Plain(s) Warrior Artist was born and set out on many adventures.

There is nothing better for working out ideas of identity than leaving home and being placed in the uncomfortable role of ambassador of your people in a foreign land. In “I searched many worlds” (), Plain(s) Warrior Artist speaks about the summer spent in Tawain while exhibiting Longing and Not Belonging. During this same summer Star Wars introduced Queen Amadala a heroine fighting for her people. I saw this summer release with a four year old of mixed Asian and Canadian descent and reflected upon my own searching for identity and role models that have been a constant in my work for some time now. While in Tawain I was seen as, for a small moment in time, the spokesperson for all Aboriginal people in Canada and as such was called upon to commodify or package my identity.

In one of my adventures, “I awoke to find my spirit had returned” (1999), the desire to go home is always present while questioning where home is. In this work, I connect this history, which is both personal and cultural, to the character Xena Warrior Princess, Dorothy in the classic story of Wizard of Oz and Louis Riel. Riel is often quoted (including in my work) "my people will sleep for one hundred years and when they awake it will be the artist that gives them their spirit back..." Riel as prophet or Wizard of Oz telling us that everything that we need is right inside of us, that all roads lead to home, that being true to our people is the way to recovering our pride, self respect.

Although the image “Navigating by Our Grandmothers” (2001) was a lonely voice in the second season of Plain(s) Warrior Artist, it opened up my parameters and took me back to the familiar, my family. As a means to understand my position as a contemporary aboriginal woman, I found inspiration in the lives of my grandmothers, particularly my aboriginal grandmother who I regard as a role model because she maintained both pride in her Métis roots, and enthusiasm for modern life. In addition, at this point a search for those things sacred or spiritual developed, such as seen in the Woodland inspired image “Hollywoodland Shaman” (2003). Another spiritual work, “Searching for my Mother” (2003) includes a depiction of the Mohawk Saint Kateri, as well as my mother as the Virgin Mother.

Other new work draws upon a number of religions and beliefs, in particular Buddhism. In addition, I look back even more deeply into my family history as a way to better understand these spiritual issues. “Passages” (2005) is a quiet piece and depicts the landscape of my Métis homeland. The abalone shell alludes to aboriginal spiritual practices and the incense sticks to Buddhist prayer rituals of remembrance. In “My Father’s Hands” (2005) and “My Turtle Island” (2005), I use aspects of both Christian and aboriginal spiritual practices and beliefs to express my mixed heritage background. These works are very much about grieving and loss. But, they are also about my realization to treasure and hold on more strongly to my familial roots and heritage.

The Plain(s) Warrior Artist takes many incarnations. In “The Collector” (2005), I insert myself into a painting by the American Victorian collector Charles Wilson Peale. The original painting links natural history and museum practices that included collecting aboriginal peoples and artifacts. In order to disrupt this colonial view, I insert aspects of my cultural heritage into the work. Images taken from my family album appear as a way to emphasize personal acts of collecting, such as occurs in family albums, my own family history and my search for my Métis roots. The work is also a statement about aboriginal peoples claiming the right to exhibit their own culture and history. In “They Went Exploring” (2005), I depict myself as a modern explorer in the context of the Columbus “discovery.” I see aboriginal peoples as engaged in many new explorations, and entering into territories that will prove challenging to us.

The Plain(s) Warrior Artist is an on-going project. I first produced work for this series for a solo exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery entitled Rosalie Favell: I Searched Many Worlds (2003) and am still carrying on. Although it is not an exhaustive search of the universe it is a culmination of many years and many more queries into what is now painfully apparent to me to be a never-ending search for self.

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ROSALIE FAVELL - RESUME


EDUCATION


Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photographic Arts, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, Toronto, Ontario, 1984

Master of Fine Arts, University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1998

PhD, Cultural Mediations, Institute for Comparative Studies in Art, Literature and Culture, Carleton University, present

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS


1985 Family Circle, The Floating Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
1993 Portraits in Blood, Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association (NIIPA) Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario.
1994 Living Evidence, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan
Le Temps Passe . . . Le Souvenir Reste, Lumiere Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
1995 Living Evidence, Fotofeis ’95, International Festival of Photography, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Living Evidence, Galerie Dazibao, Montreal, Quebec.
1998 Longing and Not Belonging, The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
1999 Longing and Not Belonging, New Phase Art Space,Tainan and International Visual Art Centre, Taipei, Taiwan.
Longing and Not Belonging, Indian and Inuit Art Centres, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs (DIAND), Hull, Quebec, Thunder Bay Art Gallery and Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Ontario (2000), Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, Manitoba (2002).
2003 Rosalie Favell: I Searched Many Worlds, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
2005 Rosalie Favell, Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS


1995 Acting on Tradition: The IAIA Faculty Triennial, Institute of American Indian Art Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Positives and Negatives: Native American Photographers, Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow, Scotland.
1996 Positives and Negatives: Native American Photographers, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Germany.
Contemporary Native American Photographers, Santa Fe Picture Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
1997 Positives and Negatives: Native American Photographers, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Inverness, and Iona Gallery, Highland Folk Museum, Kingussie, Scotland.
We are One, We are Many: An Exhibition of Contemporary Native American Art, organized by UW-La Crosse Art Gallery, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and toured to Carlsten Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Crossman Gallery, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Wisconsin; DeRicci Gallery, Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin; Sonnenschein Gallery, Durand Art Institute, Lake Forest College, Illinois; Brunnier Art Museum, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Finnish-American Heritage Center Gallery, Finlandia University, Hancock Michigan (1997); and Katherine E. Nash Gallery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1998).
Exploring Old Territory in a New Way: A Group Exhibition of Native North American Artists, Rathbone Gallery, The Sage Colleges Albany Campus, Albany, New York.
1999 Re:Collections: First Nations Photographers, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Emergence from the Shadows: First Peoples' Photographic Perspectives, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec (exhibited to 2001).
Urban Shaman Artist Members’ Show, Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
2000 alt.shift.control: Musings on Digital Identity, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario.
Indian Art 2000, Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario.
girl Guides boy Scouts: Navigating by our Grandmothers, Rosalie Favell and Arthur Renwick, Galerie B-312, Montreal, Quebec.
Present Tense: Native American Self-Representations in Photography, Foster Gallery, Haas Fine Art Center, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Eau Claire, Wisconsin.
Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan.
2001 Rielisms, organized by The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and toured to Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan.
Indian Art 2001, Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario.
2002 Cross Generational, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection of The Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Taipei, Taiwan (2003), Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2004)
2005 About Face: Self-Portraits by Native American and First Nations Artists, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Santa Fe, New Mexico
2006 Our People, Our Land, Our Images, International Indigenous Photo Exhibition, C.N. Gorman Museum, University of California Davis, Davis, California.
2006 Persona: From the Collection Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, Ontario.

 

AWARDS


Canada Council Visual Arts B Grant; Manitoba Arts Council Visual Arts B Grant; City of Winnipeg Arts Grant, 1994
Canadian Native Arts Foundation; Manitoba Arts Council Grant, 1995
Fellowship, American Photography Institute, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University; National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation; Canadian Native Arts Foundation, 1997
Canada Council Visual Arts Grant Photography; Manitoba Arts Council Visual Arts Grant, 1998
Canada Council Visual Arts Grant Photography, 1999
Canada Council Visual Arts Grant Photography; Ontario Arts Council Visual Arts Grant, 2000
Ontario Arts Council Visual Arts Grant, 2001
Canada Council Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award, 2003
Ontario Arts Council Chalmers Arts Fellowship, 2004

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS


Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography/National Gallery, Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, Ontario; Indian and Inuit Art Centres, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND), Canada; Manitoba Arts Council Art Bank, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; National Museum of the American Indian, New York, New York; Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York; The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford, Ontario

 

WORKS REPRODUCED in BOOKS/ARTIST BOOK PROJECTS/CATALOGUES


1985 Winnipeg Photographer’s Group. Montage 86. Winnipeg: The Floating Gallery
1987 A Sense of Place: Photography in Manitoba. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery
1994 Encounters, Personae. Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Art Gallery, Mount Saint Vincent
Living Evidence. Regina, Saskatchewan: Dunlop Art Gallery
1996 Now Appearing: The Mount Saint Vincent University Collection. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery
Rosalie Favell. The Manitoba Studio Series 27. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery
1997 Third Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museum
1998 “Rosalie Favell.” The Fourth Annual Juried Graduate Student Exhibition. Ed. Jim Jacob. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museums,
1999 Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art. Regina, Saskatchewan: Mackenzie Art Gallery
Native American Art in the Twentieth Century, edited by W. Jackson Rushing III. London and New York: Routledge.
Rosalie Favell: Longing and Not Belonging. Hull, Quebec: Indian and Inuit Art Centres, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Government of Canada.
2001 Rielisms. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery
Prairie Fire: A Canadian Magazine of New Writing, vol. 22, no. 3.
2002 Canada A Portrait. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.
2003 Rosalie Favell: I Searched Many Worlds, with essays by Barry Ace, Christiana Becker, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
2005 Image and Inscription: An Anthology of Contemporary Canadian Photography, edited by Robert Bean, Toronto: Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography.
2006 Tainting History: Essays in Contemporary Life-Writing. Manotick, Ont.: PenumbraPress.
2006 Our People, Our Land, Our Images, International Indigenous Photography. Davis, California: C.N. Gorman Museum, University of California Davis.
upcoming About Face: Self-Portraits by Native American and First Nations Artists. Santa Fe: Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

 

ROSALIE FAVELL - BIBLIOGRAPHY (Selections)


Ace, Barry and Rice, Ryan. “Rosalie Favell: Longing and not Belonging.” CV: Photographie contemporaine, 53 (Winter 2000), 23-30.
Anon. “Longing and Not Belonging: Rosalie Favell.” Mix, 23:3 (Winter 1997/98), 26-7.
Beatty, Greg. “Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art.” Artichoke, 12:1 (2000), 34-6.
_____. “Rosalie Favell: Living Evidence.” Fuse, 18:1 (1994), 46-7.
_____. “Identity & evidence.” Blackflash, 12:3 (1994), 15-17.
Butler, Sheila. “A Sense of Place: Photography in Manitoba.” Vanguard 16:2 (April/May 1987), pp. 41-2.
Campbell, Suzan. The American West: People, Places, and Ideas. Santa Fe, NM: Western Edge Press, 2001.
Cerdan, Alice. girl Guides boy Scouts: Navigating by our Grandmothers, Rosalie Favell and Arthur Renwick. Cahier no. 43. Montréal, Québec: Galerie B-312, 2000.
Enright, Robert. “Legends of the fall.” The Globe and Mail, Saturday, 12 May 2001, Sec. V, p. 8.
Eyland, Cliff. “Officialdumbing.” Border Crossings, 20:2 (Issue No. 78, 2001), 122-3.
_____. “William Eakin/Robert Epp and Rosalie Favell.” Border Crossings, 21:4 (No. 84, 2002), 67-8.
Favell, Rosalie. “Dossier: Amérindiens et Métis: art et politique.” Spirale, 171 (mars-avril 2000), 3,
6-7, 11-12.
_____. “Living Evidence.” Talking Stick, 1:3 (Spring 1994), 3.
Février, Ève. “Speculum de Rosalie Favell.” Esse, 25 (Automne 1994), 8-11.
Foster, Alasdair, Gill, Ken, and McArthur, Euan eds. Fotofeis: International Festival of Photography in Scotland. Edinburgh: Fotofeis Ltd., 1995, p. 148.
Fraser, Graham. “Portraits of a people.” The Globe and Mail, Tuesday, 20/11/99, Sec. R, pp. 1, 3.
Gavaghan, Ann. “Snapshots of identity.” Taiwan News, Friday, 4 June 1999, p. 6.
Gessell, Paul. “The Riel thing: exhibit shows Métis leader as hero to many.” The Ottawa Citizen, Saturday, 18 January 2001, Sec. K, pp. 1, 5.
_____. “Aboriginal erotic art show ruffles few feathers.” The Ottawa Citizen, 14/3/00, Sec. D, pp. 13, 16.
Gilbert, André. Self Portraits in Contemporary Canadian Photography, Éditions J’ai VU, 2004.
Goggin, Kathleen. Rosalie Favell: Living Evidence. Montréal, Québec: Dazibao, 1995.
Jenkner, Ingrid. Encounters, Personae. Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Art Gallery, Mount Saint
Vincent, 1994.
_____. Living Evidence. Regina, Saskatchewan: Dunlop Art Gallery, 1994.
_____. Now Appearing: The Mount Saint Vincent University Collection. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 1996.
Lamarche, Bernard. “Ombre au tableau: Jaillir de l’ombre perspectives photographiques des premiers peoples.” Le Devoir, Samedi, 4 December 1999, Sec. B, p. 9.
Lamirande, Todd. “Photographer part of Taiwanese cultural exchange.” The Drum, 2:7 (July
1999), 10.
Lippard, Lucy R. “Independent Identities.” Native American Art in the Twentieth Century. Ed. W. Jackson Rushing III. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 134-48.
Loft, Steve and Madill, Shirley. alt.shift.control: Musings on Digital Identity. Hamilton, Ontario: Art Gallery of Hamilton and Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’ Association, 2000.
Madill, Shirley. A Sense of Place: Photography in Manitoba. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art
Gallery, 1987.
Martin, Lee-Ann and Wood, Morgan. Exposed: Aesthetics of Aboriginal Erotic Art. Regina, Saskatchewan: Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1999.
Mattes, Catherine. “Introduction.” First Voices, First Words Issue. Prairie Fire, 22:3, pp. 64-80, 215.
_____. Rielisms. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2001.
Melnyk, Doug. “Rosalie Favell.” Vanguard, 14:7 (September 1985), p. 36.
Payne, Carol. “Emergence from the Shadow: First Peoples’ Photographic Perspectives.” Afterimage, 27:6 (May/June 2000), 16.
Quick-to-See Smith, Jaune. We are One, We are Many: An Exhibition of Contemporary Native American Art. La Crosse, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, 1997.
Starling, Mike. “UW-L art gallery director hopes ‘We Are One, We Are Many’ will change attitudes about style of art.” La Crosse Tribune,Thursday, 20 February 1997, Sec. E, p.8.
Telenko, Sherri. “alt.shift.control: digital images by contemporary Native photographers Rosalie
Favell, Lita Fontaine, Larry McNeil.” Fuse, 23:3 (February 2001), 35-6.
Urbanowski, Greg. “Métis photographer bares her soul: polaroids reveal intimacy of relationship.” Prince Albert Daily Herald, 20 January 1995, p. 9.
Walker, Morley. “Louis Riel art ‘symbol of empowerment’.” Winnipeg Free Press, 13/1/01, Sec. B p. 6.
Whitebear-Reed, Joyce. “Photo-Realities: photographs by First Nations photographers.” Talking Stick, 1:2 (Winter 1994), 6.
_____. “Photo-Realities: photographs by First Nations photographers.” Blackflash, 11:4 (Winter 1993), 14-17.

 

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