Nelson White: Eymu’tiek (We Are Here)
“As a representational painter, my work is about identity and community. It is a representation of Indigenous peoples from an Indigenous perspective. Sometimes that representation includes specific, identifiable symbols and sometimes it does not — because the figures within the paintings define their culture on their own terms and what it means to be native today in a contemporary setting. They are fiercely proud of their identity and refuse to be defined by stereotypes.”
- Nelson White, artist
Nelson White (Flat Bay Band) is the first artist in the Indigenous Artist-in-Residence Program at The Rooms, a collaboration with the artist-run centre Eastern Edge (St. John’s, NL). With this new series of paintings, White responds to the theme of “identity” in the Museum. He questions popular biases about what Indigenous culture looks like — both in terms of people and art.
About the Artist:
Nelson White is an artist and illustrator who is a member of the Flat Bay First Nation Band (No'kmaq Village) in Flat Bay, Newfoundland. His father is a respected elder who was recently awarded the Order of Canada for his lifetime of lobbying for the rights of Mi'kmaq people. White attended the Visual Arts program at the former Bay St. George Community College and later at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. After a brief career in advertising, White had a long career in administration both in professional sports and later in the non-profit sector. Over the last number of years, he has become a working artist with his pieces exhibited frequently throughout Canada and the United Stated in both group and solo shows. White currently lives in St. John’s, NL, with his family and pets.