Why we love the art we love: Novelist Joseph Boyden on our pursuit of beautiful things

For this series, you’ve chosen to highlight First Nations artist Nadia Myre, who’ll be featured on the site of our partners on this project, Wondereur. Do you know her? Why do you like her work?

I don’t know her personally at all. I’ve never met her; I sure hope to. I totally admire Nadia, and I love her work. I think it’s eye-opening and it flips traditional native art on its head and makes a political statement, makes a social statement, all while being aesthetically gorgeous. She tears apart the stereotypes and clichés that people associate with native art then stitches them back together in a spellbinding way. I think that Nadia – like artists such as Maria Hupfield and Duane Linklater and Kent Monkmanand so many others – she’s changing the discourse. She’s reclaiming the discourse. The discussion for a long time has been what has been taken away from the First Nations of our country these last couple of centuries. As it should be. But the conversation I hear bubbling up, this talk of what’s been found, what’s never been lost, this most excites me. When you create something and put it into the world, it’s about giving up the ownership of it while at the same time understanding that in this loss, you just might change perception, even help guide the conversation. And I think that this is what Nadia Myre is doing.

The Globe and Mail. Published Saturday, Feb. 28 2015, 8:00 AM EST