Sunday, September 9, 2018


Voices in the Wind

A collection of Mask paintings of stories
by Indigenous People of the World.

Sadly, as I am not Indian, Native, First Nation or Indigenous, under the CULTURAL ART APPROPRIATION ACT, I am not allowed to paint any images of any Indigenous nature.

I had to cancel my scheduled October exhibition at Artpoint Gallery. The art show VOICES IN THE WIND, a collection of Mask paintings had already been cancelled twice in the name of CULTURAL ART APPROPRIATION, first at The Bissett Gallery at Mount Royal University and secondly at a Technology Centre. Both times by person(s) Anonymous who did not have the decency to speak with me, instead worked through administrators, deans and landlords.  Since Artpoint Gallery is a publicly funded gallery, I did not want to jeopardise their funding nor their leasing agreement with the City of Calgary.

The exhibition started out as a celebration of legends and folklore of Eastern European, African and North American First Nation cultures. I have always been interested and conducted research into mythology and legends and I am concerned to keep them alive in our fast pacing technology world. Thus the creation of the series of Masks, who are the transmitters of the voice to narrate their individual legends.

Now the voices are silent, the faces forgotten and the stories untold.

By overpainting the faces of some of the masks white and stamping them: “Censored” I am also declaring my revulsion of censorship and would like to defend my right as an artist to exercise artistic expression, as well as my right to create artwork achieved through the inspiration by reading stories of publicly accessible books.

Elizabeth Laishley

Monday, August 29, 2016

Artist: Elizabeth Laishley
Phone: 403-247-1428

Mission Statement

Masks of the Indigenous People

Every mask has a story!

Mission Statement
For years I have been fascinated by and collected masks from all over the world throughout my travels. I became intrigued by their power of mysticism and spiritual messages.  In my newest works of masks of the indigenous people, each mask has been inspired by stories and fables told over generations by the native people of the world. The idea for this project probably lies in a subliminal yearning for a more uncomplicated time when people sat around a fire in the evening and repeated stories told by their ancestors. The motives of the Mask paintings originate from Africa and Australia as well as North American Native folklore I was inspired by through my research.

This work is a combination of a culmination of different arts and crafts I have studied and applied over the last 40 years of my artistic career. It consists of painting, combined with paper mache sculptures and fiber arts. The masks are made of hand build paper mache and attached to a canvas. By choosing a three dimensional aspect instead painting them on a flat canvas, I feel the masks come alive and transmit a more powerful message. Each piece also has a story to go with, uniting the visual arts with the literary and performance art. This project is in line with many of my other series and my beliefs that one art-form is intimately connected to any other type of art.

Elizabeth Laishley