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
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.
- 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
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
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
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.
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.
here to view the On Line Exhibition >
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,
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
1985 Family Circle,
The Floating Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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,
1995 Living Evidence,
Fotofeis ’95, International Festival of Photography,
Living Evidence, Galerie Dazibao, Montreal, Quebec.
1998 Longing and
Not Belonging, The Photographers Gallery, Saskatoon,
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,
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.
and Negatives: Native American Photographers, Westfälisches
Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster,
Contemporary Native American Photographers, Santa Fe
Picture Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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
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.
First Nations Photographers, The Winnipeg Art Gallery,
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.
Musings on Digital Identity, Art Gallery of Hamilton,
Indian Art 2000, Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford,
girl Guides boy Scouts: Navigating by our Grandmothers,
Rosalie Favell and Arthur Renwick, Galerie B-312, Montreal,
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.
organized by The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba,
and toured to Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan.
Indian Art 2001, Woodland Cultural Centre, Brantford,
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.
From the Collection Canadian Museum of Contemporary
Photography, Ottawa, Ontario.
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
Fellowship, American Photography Institute, Tisch School
of the Arts, New York University; National Aboriginal
Achievement Foundation; Canadian Native Arts Foundation,
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
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,
WORKS REPRODUCED in BOOKS/ARTIST
Photographer’s Group. Montage 86. Winnipeg: The
1987 A Sense of
Place: Photography in Manitoba. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg
Personae. Halifax, Nova Scotia: The Art Gallery, Mount
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
Favell.” The Fourth Annual Juried Graduate Student
Exhibition. Ed. Jim Jacob. Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Jonson Gallery of the University of New Mexico Art Museums,
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.
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
History: Essays in Contemporary Life-Writing. Manotick,
2006 Our People,
Our Land, Our Images, International Indigenous Photography.
Davis, California: C.N. Gorman Museum, University of
upcoming About Face: Self-Portraits by Native American
and First Nations Artists. Santa Fe: Wheelwright Museum
of the American Indian
ROSALIE FAVELL -
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),
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
Enright, Robert. “Legends of the fall.”
The Globe and Mail, Saturday, 12 May 2001, Sec. V, p.
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,
_____. “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,
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,
Goggin, Kathleen. Rosalie Favell: Living Evidence. Montréal,
Québec: Dazibao, 1995.
Jenkner, Ingrid. Encounters, Personae. Halifax, Nova
Scotia: The Art Gallery, Mount Saint
_____. 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
Lippard, Lucy R. “Independent Identities.”
Native American Art in the Twentieth Century. Ed. W.
Jackson Rushing III. London and New York: Routledge,
Loft, Steve and Madill, Shirley. alt.shift.control:
Musings on Digital Identity. Hamilton, Ontario: Art
Gallery of Hamilton and Native Indian/Inuit Photographers’
Madill, Shirley. A Sense of Place: Photography in Manitoba.
Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art
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,
_____. Rielisms. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery,
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,
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
here to view the On Line Exhibition >