Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art: Meryl McMaster - pēyakwan kīsik kakwāyaki-ispīhcāw / As Immense as the Sky, March 5 - April 17

Meryl McMaster

pēyakwan kīsik kakwāyaki-ispīhcāw / As Immense as the Sky

Running dates in Main Gallery: March 5 to April 17, 2021

EMAIL for an appointment at info@urbanshaman.org

Virtual gallery on our website in Main Exhibitions: TBA (check our website for details)

In Plains Cree (English translation to follow)

Meryl McMaster: pēyakwan kīsik kakwāyaki-ispīhcāw

ka-isi kiskēyihtamahk tānimatahtwaw ka-miyāskatamahk ispayiwin wiyastāw itāhkōmitowin

isi ēkwa mīna ka-isi nisitohtamahk kēhciwāk kī-taskiynaw. ni-nākatohkāmatowin ispayiwin ohci pē-ohcipayin nīswayak āniskostēwin nisitohnākwan isi mācihtāwin—pēyak itowahk pimastēw isi mēskanās ēkwānima āniskostēw āh-āyītaw kiskinohtahēwin anohc ohci, ēkwa kotak itowahk aya kāh-kīhtwām mīna tahki. ōma āsowahonān ohci askiy itāpisiniwin ka-kī-awāsisīwiwiyan aspin ohci pē-ohcipayin, ayis ni-kī-nihtāwikin nīswayak isi wītisānīhitowin nakahpēhanohk mīna nēhiyānāhk.

ka-māmitonēyihcikatēk ispayiwin ēkwa misahci nāh-nāway isi pimātisiwin kāh-kīhtwām

kāwi ita kayās mistassini (misi-asiniy), sputinas (kaskatināw), wiyacahk (posiskatināw),

ēkwa mīna ayakowawacha (yēkawaciyanihk) ohci mihkināhk ministik pē-osīhcikatēw

pēyakwan kīsik kakwāyaki-ispīhcāw. ōhi māmitonēyihcikēwina ni-miyikon māmaskātēyihtamowin, māka mīna koskonam pīhci-niya astāsiwin mēcimwāci kiyānaw ōma ka-māmawohkamahk tōcikēmakana wakīc kī-miyo taskiynaw.

ta-mawinēhaman ōma astāsiwin, ni-nōcihtān iyinīsiwin ita kayās ni-wāhkōmākanak

ō-pimātisiwiniwaw, ni-natohtēn tāpwē-ācimowin niwāhkōmākanak ohci,

kiskēyihtamakēwiyiniwak, nitōtēmak, ēkwa mīna ayisiyiniwak ka-kī opapāmācihōcik ōta askīhk pāmwayēs niya. Ita otōtēmiwin, pimācihowin, mīna pisiskēyihcikēwin itēhkēskamik ohci nakiskātēn ni-wīci-nēhiyawak ohci mīna opītatowēwak kayas ni-wāhkōmākanak ni-māci-wāpahcikān mīna ni-māwacihtān wiyawāw ō-kiskēyihtamowina mīna ta-pimātisihtāman mīna ta- ācimostātitaman tipiyawē pītosi-isi sāpo masinipayiwina.

mihcēcis ita ka-kiyokēyan ayātinkatēw kihci-itēyihtamowin kēhciwāc ni-wāhkōmākanak

kici ayis ohi pēyak-wayak mistahi ki-itēyihtakwan ispīhk wīyawaw ō-pimātisiwiniwaw;

ni-otamiyohikon ōhi ita pēyak-wayak mitoni mitēhihk ohci ka-mōsihtahk ācimowina

āpihtawāyihk akāmihk ēkwa mīna sāwanohk isi kisiskāciwani-sīpiy isko nātakām isi wīpat akāmōtēnāhk pihci Ontario mīna Newfoundland. ni-pakosēyimon kāh-kīhtwām

ta-otōtēmiyan ēkwāniki asici ka-kī-pē-itohtēcik pāmwayēs niya ēkosi isi ni-nakiskātēn askiy ita ka-kī wīkicik.

ni-pē wapahtēn askiy ka-isinākwahk pēyakwan mahki-asiwacikan ē-ayāwahikinikatēk kiskēyihtamowin. pēyakwan kīsik kakwāyaki-ispīhcāw māmiskōtam ta-pimohtēh ōhi mitoni kayās mēskanawa, ta-pisiskāpahtamahk nanātohk Isi itāpisiniwin, ēkwa mīna kiskēyihtamowin ēwako ohci kayas ni-wāhkōmākanak ō-yinisowiniwaw.

ka-osīhcikātēkih ōhi masinipayiwina kikinikātēw mosci mēskocipayiwin ispayiwin iskohk

mēkwac anohc. ōhi acimowina kayas (kayās ohci) mīna astāsiwin kīmwēwin isi nīkānihk pīminam miyaw askiy asici, ni-pakosēyimon kahkiyaw ta-pisiskēyihtamahk kinwēs mīna sēhkē ta-manācihtāyahk misiwēskamik.


Artist Statement

As Immense as the Sky (2019)

The way we experience the passing of time shapes our relationship to and understanding of our immediate world. My awareness of time comes from an overlapping of two distinct approaches – one is that of a linear path that extends in both directions from the present, and another one that is recurrent and cyclical. This intersection of world views has been part of my upbringing, a result of being born into a family both Western and Indigenous.

Contemplating time and the countless cycles of life that have recurred around the ancient mistassini (monoliths), sputinas (buttes), wiyacahk (canyons) and ayeakowawacha (dunes) of Turtle Island led to the development of As Immense as the Sky. These thoughts left me in a state of wonderment, but also stirred within me a fearful apprehension of our permanent and collective impact upon our beautiful world.

To confront this fear, I sought wisdom in the places of ancestral life, listening to the truths of relatives, Elders, friends and peoples who have traversed this land before me. At the social, cultural and environmental contact zones of my Indigenous and European ancestors I set out to study and collect their knowledge and to animate and re-tell it in a personally transformative process through photography.

Many places I visited hold particular meaning for my direct ancestors as they are sites of significant moments in their lives; I was drawn to the sites of ancient stories across central and southern Saskatchewan and to the shores of early settlement in Ontario and Newfoundland. My aim was to reconnect with those who came before me as a way of introducing myself to the land on which they lived.

I came to see these landscapes as immense time capsules of buried knowledge. As Immense as the Sky is about walking these ancient paths, experiencing the diversity of panoramas, and learning about my ancestors' wisdom.

The resulting images are a blend and collapse of time into the present. The stories of kayas (long ago) and the foreboding whispers of the future intertwine my body with the land, in the hope that we all maintain a long-term ecological equilibrium with the world around us.

Meryl McMaster – Bio

Meryl McMaster was born and is currently based in Ottawa, Canada. Her family is from Red Pheasant First Nations in Saskatchewan and she is a member of the Siksika First Nation in Alberta. She earned a BFA in Photography from OCAD University in Toronto (2010). Known for her large-format self-portraits that have a distinct performative quality, she explores questions of self through land, lineage, history, and culture, with specific reference to her mixed Plains Cree European ancestry. McMaster's work has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and abroad, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, ON), Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney, AUS), Smithsonian's National Museum of American Indian (New York, NY), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, QC), and the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK). Her awards include the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award (2018), REVEAL Indigenous Art Award (2017), Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow Award (2013), Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists (2012), Canon Canada Prize (2010), OCAD U Medal (2010) and was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Discovery Award (2019) and longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award. Her work is widely represented in collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Eiteljorg Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Museum London, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Ottawa Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of History, National Museum of American Indian.



As of Friday, February 12, 2021 Manitoba galleries are allowed to open to the public, and we are able to make appointments for visits

  • Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday 12-5pm
  • no more than 2 people per visit.
  • 30 min appointments are made by emailing info@urbanshaman.org only. (this is to help us manage with our staff who will go in, and will assure your request is seen by all staff to confirm and be there.) Please indicate your name, email address and telephone number as well as the time slot that interests you. A member of our team will send you a confirmation within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Patrons must at all times comply with the rules of hygiene and wear a mask in all spaces of the 290 McDermot Ave building and in Urban Shaman Gallery. (Masks are avail for purchase $1.00)
  • Patrons will be asked to sign in when they arrive at the gallery. "Customer Log: Customer Log for Businesses, Restaurants and Licensed Premises...Under current public health orders, businesses are being asked to collect information to help public health officials track the transmission of COVID-19 and alert those who may have been exposed to keep Manitobans safe and reduce the spread as much as possible." -From the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority website" https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/restartmb/prs/winnipeg/index.html
  • Hand sanitizing stations have been placed at the entrance of the gallery for your convenience.
  • Please self-assess your health before visiting the gallery. Are you exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, difficulty breathing, headache, body aches, sore throat, loss of taste and smell, fever, and chills)? Have you been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19? If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms or have been exposed, please do not visit the gallery and reschedule for a later date.
  • Please be respectful of our staff and each other. We are here to ensure a safe space for everyone.

Thank you from Urban Shaman Gallery!


Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery acknowledges the support, throughout the year, of our friends, volunteers, community and all our relations, NCI FM, CAHRD, Winnipeg Foundation, Manitoba Heritage, the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and University of Manitoba School of Art. ~Miigwetch/ Hai Hai/ Ekosi / Merci/ Thank you

Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art Gallery

203 – 290 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0T2

T 204.942.2674

W http://www.urbanshaman.org