Originally from the small Ojibway community of Pic Mobert, along the northern shore of Lake Superior, Candace holds a bachelor of Fine Art degree from Lakehead University. She currently lives & works in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
“I have always had a deep love of visual art, and became inspired in my teenage years to create as a means of expression and ultimately self-healing. I struggled with issues of identity; I was in conflict, unable to place myself in Western-dominated society.
In showing my work and seeing its effect on viewers, I was encouraged to continue sharing. I began to see the potential of artwork to heal a whole community.”
Through my art, I want to tell the stories of my Anishnaabe people. Sometimes I want to tell my story, specifically, as an Ojibway woman navigating 2 worlds, striving to hold strong to my traditional beliefs within the constructs of dominant society. My work has to do with identity, and is a part of the Indigenous voice as a whole. So I am telling all of our stories. At the root of it, I want to show people the strength, vitality and determination of our people. I am trying to show our spirit. I have an interest in conveying life energy & the idea of interconnectedness in a visual way. I strive to show the truth we know as Indigenous people about spiritual energy; that there is more to this life than we can see, so I suggest layers in my work – layers to reality. I want to provoke the question and give time to linger on the thought: Where does our world stop and the spirit world begin?
Notes from DaVic Gallery:
Candace is an amazing artist with no fear to express and communicate what is valuable to her. She prefers to express with abstract paintings while heavily influenced by her culture and by Norval Morrisseau’s Woodland style of painting. Not by the traditional bold thick lines and x-ray vision but by the intention in the use of colors for all spiritual, “All of my abstract work including this one (she refers to “Down with the Shine” during this conversation), deals with the idea of layers to reality. Where does material world stop, and the spirit world begin? It’s about vibrational energy, and the fact that there is more than what we can see with the naked eye. I use the beads to pay homage to the traditional artisan work of my ancestors, beads and beadwork being a huge part of or artistic expression as Ojibwe people.
I’m using that material here, in my painting, with that in mind, and it brings the symbolism of what it is traditionally used for, and it is juxtaposing it in this modern sense, this abstract painting, the way that i am working today, as an Anishnabe woman. So the shapes, the colours, they are chosen for compositional purposes, the colour choices are made for healing, colours have optical vibrational energy so thats why I use blocks of colour, in the same way that Norval Morrisseau used his bright colours. In his Woodland Style, he said that it didnt matter what picture he painted. It was just a means so lay down his colours. People think his work is about stories and legends, and it is, but as a vehicle for him to apply his colours for healing. I’m using these same teachings and ideas, but implementing in a different way.”