Rosalie Favell is a photo-based artist addressing issues of identity, representation and cultural heritage, particularly as they relate to identifying her own experiences as a contemporary Aboriginal woman.
Inspired by her family history and Métis (Cree/English) heritage, Favell explores the image-making power of photography to tell personal stories on her own terms. For her solo exhibition, Shifting Focus, at Latcham Art Centre, photographs from three recent bodies of work will be presented.
In Facing the Camera, Artists in the Landscape and Collectors, Favell is working to document Indigenous artists and art professionals to provide as much visibility to those art communities as possible and shift the power dynamics historically at play with how Indigenous peoples are represented.
For Facing the Camera, Favell has documented more than 450 Aboriginal artists since 2008. The on-going series began at an artist residency, where Favell took the initiative to document all the artists participating. Upon reviewing the images and seeing her community represented in this way, she realized how impactful this documentation could be and has continued to arrange portrait sessions at every opportunity over the last decade.
Favell has also turned her lens to document artists in the landscape, building long panoramic images that highlight the land in relation to the subject, as well as a newer series that provides a behind the scenes look at art collectors with artworks by Indigenous artists. Together, with her peers, the portraits celebrate relationship building, visibility and make the necessary space for collaborative representation.
The exhibition continues Latcham Art Centre’s ongoing commitment to provide a public venue to showcase artwork by Indigenous artists and is sponsored by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. The exhibit is on display until Dec. 8.
Photo: Rosalie Favell, selected portraits from the on-going series, Facing the Camera. From the left, Ryan Rice (2016), Meryl McMaster (2017), Rita Letendre (2012).