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

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