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seth cardinal dodginghorse | Artist of the Month | February 2024

Updated: Feb 7

Oki, my name is seth cardinal dodginghorse. I am Tsuut’ina and Saddle Lake Cree on my mother’s side and Amskapi Piikani (Blackfeet) on my father’s side. I am a multidisciplinary artist that studied for 5 years at the Alberta University of the Arts.

In my art practice I experiment with many different mediums and forms of art including visual, sound, installation, performance, and film. I was an artist before going to school because of my Auntie Tania and my Uncle Chris Big Plume who inspired me to be creative ever since I was a child.

I was raised on the Tsuut’ina rez by my mother and grandmother, this where I live and create to this day. The land we come from is important to me and the work I make. In 2014 my family was forcibly displaced for the construction of the SW Calgary Ring Road aka Tsuut’ina Trail. Since then, I have been creating political art that honours my family and the land. I believe that as First Nations people we must not be afraid to speak our truths that address issues within our Indigenous communities that are caused by colonialism and lateral violence.

I am a Prairie Chicken Dancer who grew up on the powwow trail and I love spending time with Elders and older relatives. Music has always been an important part of my being. I have played in bands and self recorded music since I was a teenager. My current music project is called lawrence teeth and I am finishing recording an album that I hope to independently release this spring.

Some interesting tidbits about myself:

I am left-handed, I have two orange cats, and I would probably be a dentist if I wasn’t an artist/musician.

Art Descriptions

POST 1 - Ina #2: My mother Glenna and I have an artist collective called Tina Guyani (Deer Road) which we started in 2019. This was the first artwork we made together at the Banff Centre. It was my mom’s idea to experiment with silk-screening on hide. We chose to print a photograph my family has of our grandmothers from a hundred years ago, Winnie Bull Crowchild and Elsie Bull Jacobs onto an Elk hide. I was doing research on traditional Tsuut’ina war paintings and decided to paint my mom’s story onto the hide using traditional paint pigments. The story shows the first time the trees were knocked down on my family’s land. This work was made to honour the strength of the women in our family. 

POST 2 - I am here: I created this in 2019. I printed 40 postcards each with different images and text on the front and back. I chose to create postcards because I was thinking about the tourist industry and how places and the land are advertised to bring in travelers. These are my anti-tourism postcards; each postcard shows and talks about the damage caused to the land my family and I were raised on. They also talk about my memories. I have these installed on a postcard rack and people are free to take them. My brother helped me take these photos. These are postcards #16 and #24 out of 40. 

POST 3 - Stop Acting Like Indians: This is a silkscreen print I made in 2022, I originally made my first print of this in 2016 while I was still in school. I used the same font that is used on Highway signs for the text and the orange is the same as what you see in construction sites. I was being cheeky and having fun with the wording I used in this. I was thinking about how on the rez when our family teases or gets mad at us they say things like “quit acting like that”.  While making this I was thinking about the long-lasting negative effects the Indian Act has had on us, and how we can unfortunately become our own Indian Agents. I was also thinking about how we can’t continue to act like Indian Act Indians and perpetuate/uphold colonial beliefs. 

POST 4 - Last night I dreamt I was home: I created this in the fall of 2023 after I had a dream of being back on my family’s land. A few years ago my father gave me this buffalo robe and I spent a lot of time thinking about what to do with it and had many different ideas. Finally this work was gifted to me in a dream and I had to make it. My friend Doug Halsam, who is a woodworker, built a wooden replica of my families home which I used for this installation. I also built and coded a pirate radio which is a homemade radio station where you can choose what you want to broadcast and which frequency you want listeners to tune into. I placed the pirate radio inside the miniature replica of my family’s home, and it broadcasts an audio collage of me recounting my dream. This work is activated through radio receivers people can carry around that pick up the signal coming from the house. The audio is more powerful and clear the closer one is to the house/buffalo.

Check out seth on Instagram, on his website or on his bandcamp!

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