Episode 66. Chief Lady Bird & Aura Last. Unceded Voices Series

In this episode we get into conversation with artists Chief Lady Bird and Aura Last, collaborators on a large mural project as part of 2017 Unceded Voices: Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence, a biennial convergence of primarily Indigenous-identified women/2spirit/Queer/, Black and Women of Color street artists in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang, unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories (also known as Montreal). Chief Lady Bird and Aura Last connect about what collaboration means to their practice and how their collaborative work engages with youth as a central point of engagement. We also dive into how both artists practice their art as a form of decolonization and resilience, and how their work embeds coding into public urban spaces to reclaim power for indigenous peoples and as a form of healing.

Here is the conversation with Chief Lady Bird & Aura Last:

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More about the artists:

Chief Lady Bird  and Aura Last portrait.JPG

Chief Lady Bird: 
Nancy King (Chief Lady Bird) is a First Nations (Potawatomi and Chippewa) artist from Rama First Nation. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird. She has completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University and has been exhibiting her work since she was 14 years old. Through her art practice, she strives to look to the past to help her navigate her Anishinaabe identity whilst living in an urban space as well as advocate for Indigenous representation as an integral aspect of Canada’s national identity. She addresses the complexity of identity through the use of contemporary painting techniques; woodlands style imagery, photography, digital manipulation and traditional Indigenous craft materials and often works with at-risk youth to ensure knowledge and skill sharing/development.

Aura Last:
Monique Bedard (Aura) is a Haudenosaunee (Oneida Nation of the Thames) woman from a small town in Southern Ontario. She has been deeply and passionately involved in visual arts for 11 years. In 2006, she began a formal study of visual arts at Fanshawe College in London, ON. After three years of studies in London, she moved to Lethbridge, AB to complete an undergraduate degree at the University of Lethbridge. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Studio Art) degree in 2010 and returned to Ontario where she began instructing group art lessons with children, adolescents and adults. Monique currently resides in Tkaronto, where she is working as an artist, art facilitator and muralist. She is inspired by the healing journey: "I have the passion for community engagement, collaboration and social change where stories are shared through the art making process. Through a holistic approach, it is my aim to empower people by honing in on individuals' strengths. My goal is to build art projects that lead to a deep sense of understanding while connecting through unity, collaboration and transformation."

"It is through the freedom of the creative process that imagination and creativity are ignited, connections are restored, meaning is built, passions are discovered, visions are manifested, ideas are born, inspiration becomes contagious, strength is called upon, and all voices and stories are heard." - Monique Aura

UNCEDED VOICES: Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence. August 13-21 2017

Unceded Voices: Anticolonial Street Artists Convergence is a biennial convergence of primarily Indigenous-identified women/2spirit/Queer/, Black and Women of Color street artists in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyaang, unceded Haudenosaunee and Anishinabe territories (also known as Montreal). The goal of this convergence is three-fold: to develop a network of solidarity and support between Indigenous women/2Spirit/Queer and women of color street artists ; to promote anticolonial resistance through diverse street art interventions; and to foster relationships and dialogue between the collective and the broader community.Through street art interventions (murals, wheat pastes, stencils, graffiti, textile art, performances, etc.), the artists in Unceded Voices collective are from all over Turtle Island and express their demands, identities and histories.

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