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Dana Claxton: Landscape #1

See a painterly expression of a prairie landscape and the people who have inhabited it.

Canadian media artist Dana Claxton unveiled a new video installation titled Landscape #1. Visitors experienced two interwoven landscapes: the nature of the prairies and the cultures who have lived there. It is a painterly expression of the landscape as living, informed by traditional Lakota knowledge, and the philosophy of Mitakuye Oyasin—All My Relations—which means that all things are interconnected and interrelated, whether plant, human, animal, or supernatural.

Claxton says: “As a media artist, I am attempting to work within the parameters of a painterly landscape aesthetic to create a traditional Canadian landscape painting by infusing the living philosophy that the land is alive and that I am a part of the land.  In addition, since I work with moving images and sound, I want to situate the land as living being, not void of spirit or breathe. As opposed to gazing at the landscape as an object of pleasure, Landscape # 1 is attempting to create a sense of living within the landscape, not as pleasure but one of co-existing in an interrelated and interconnected way of being. The philosophy of Mitakuye Oyasin—All My Relations—meaning everything is related whether, plant, human, animal, natural world and supernatural world is the treatise of this new work.”

About the Artist

Dana Claxton an interdisciplinary artist who works in film, video, photography, and performance. Her work has been shown internationally in numerous galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Folly Gallery in Lancaster, and La Galleria Di Nuova Icona in Venice, Italy. Her work is represented in Canadian art museum collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Mackenzie Art Gallery in Regina. Dana is an Adjunct Professor at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and founding Treasurer of the Indigenous Media Arts Group. (IMAG) is dedicated to the dissemination and training of aboriginal independent media art, video, and filmmaking.

Her artwork uses both the media of film and video combined with elements of visual art, traditional Lakota knowledge, and surrealism. Her work often explores our relationship with nature, and she is interested in how the natural world relates to the sacred. She acknowledges the planet as Maka Ina—Mother Earth.

Image credit: Installation view of Dana Claxton's  Landscape #1 at Surrey Art Gallery.