My current practice as a visual artist works to both center and reclaim my own personal
narrative regarding the processes of navigating mental health, cultural identity, and
reclamation of space as an Indigenous woman. My body of work primarily consists of acrylic on canvas self-portraits and highlight the complexities of engaging in ancient cultural practices as a Blackfeet woman in 2022.
Through my portrait paintings I reclaim a sense of autonomy and agency over my own representation and narrative as a young Blackfeet woman who grew up living out our traditional way of life. There is a unique responsibility and power specific to Blackfoot women that I work to showcase in my paintings. My work reminds Blackfoot women, girls, and Aa’woowaakii (Two-Spirit individuals) that we are more than this inflicted extraction and intergenerational trauma that we face.
Prior to colonization and today, we continue to hold pivotal roles in our community that can only be fulfilled by our unique gifts and knowledge. We are still rich in resiliency and these cultural ways of being, we deserve to have space held for us where our voices can be centered, and our beauty can be celebrated. I work to achieve this through my artwork that visually reflects this experience.
Check out Mikayla's website here!