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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River M├ętis. More

The Essentialists Exhibition

Artwork Gallery

Photograph of mask composed of feathers, dried plants and broken mirrors
Photograph of a nude figure standing amongst trees wearing a mask composed of feathers, dried plants and broken mirrors

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Eileen Li

Title: The Mask for Nature

Medium: Cardboard, feathers, plants, mirrors, textile fabrics, wool and wood chips

Size/Dimension: 25L x 15W x 15H inches

Year: 2020


Artist Statement:

Facing the prejudice of the kinship system in the Anthropocene, and the pollution and destruction of nature by colonialists, Indigenous people are standing up to resist against their land and life in nature. This wearable sculpture is made primarily of natural and recyclable materials such as feathers, dried plants and wood chips. It is a mask designed by weakening offensive or appropriated images of Indigenous warriors as a reference and the atmospheres of Indigenous artists and works of Indigenous art that I interacted with in a previous course.

The face of the mask is composed of broken mirrors. When the wearer of the mask faces an invader, the invader must see their whole but broken face in the mirror.

The history of colonialism damaged the environment and works to destroy Indigenous life, history, knowledge, and beliefs based on nature. Within this work, my aim is for nature's rights to be held up in the form of non-violent struggle, in symbolic resistance to colonialism.