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Meryl McMaster

Colonial Drift
From the series "Wanderings"


Meryl McMaster
Born in Ottawa in 1988


Colonial Drift
From the series "Wanderings"




Ink-jet prints, artist's proof 1/2


116.8 x 40.6 cm


Purchase, Serge Desroches Bequest, inv. 2018.131.1-2


Graphic Arts

The series "Wanderings" was conceived as a means for Meryl McMaster to express her mixed Red Pheasant and Siksika, British and Dutch cultural heritage. Inspired by moments of solitude and communion with nature in remote landscapes, reconnecting with the land and her Indigenous roots, she was empowered to explore her blended histories. Incorporating sculptural elements and costumes into her photographic practice for these dream-like images, McMaster creates scenes that deliver transformational experiences for herself and viewers engaging with the work. In Colonial Drift, giant bees crawl over McMaster and the hollow tree trunk, reminiscent of a log hive, placed on her head. The title refers to the negative effects of colonialism while alluding to bees – brought to North America by European settlers – as colonizers, although they are now also in a vulnerable situation due to pesticide use. Through such performances and acts of reconciliation in front of the camera, proposing imageries that compel viewers to think about their own histories and identities, McMaster aims to help us learn about our country’s narratives.

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