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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

Storying Exhibition

Artwork Gallery

Artist Statement

Artist Name: Philberta Mak

Title: Self Portrait

Medium: Digital illustration

Size/Dimension: 1024 x 1024 px.

Year: 2020


Artist Statement:

I work in photographic and digital 2-D medium for most of my practice. Working in a crossdisciplinary practice allows me to continue developing my artistic identity and helps me examine what type of art-making makes me feel the most fulfilled. I often struggle with identifying myself as an “artist”. I believe that to grow as an artist, you consequently have to grow as an individual as well. I feel underdeveloped in both areas, however I’ve learned recently that the most important thing to remember is to not give up if you want to conquer your desires, and to remain honest and true to yourself. Identity is a work in progress: you must explore it fearlessly and purposefully.


The illustration Self Portrait (2020) is a visual “note to self” on how to manifest desires and ambitions. Manifestation is a very influential theme in my life, therefore it appears as a major theme in the work as well. Numbers are important signifiers and send powerful messages to those who encounter them; sometimes they call onto you, or you can call out to them for guidance. The work also includes symbols for things I’ve learned and significant individuals and events that have influenced my life; it is a reminder to myself to not forget these important lessons that have been given to me in order to become the best version of myself that I can be moving forward.