Photo By Conor McNally
Lauren Crazybull is an Edmonton based Blackfoot, Dene visual artist. Lauren's work is informed, in part, by several years of justice organizing, Indigenous advocacy and tireless work as an artistic facilitator and mentor for youth throughout her home province of Alberta. For Lauren, visual art is a way of grappling with the complexities of a terrifying and beautiful world as an Indigenous woman whose existential, emotional, physical and creative freedom depends upon the world's ability to expand its understanding of justice, humanity and decolonial love. Lauren's art, therefore, reflects the spectrum of her personal, social, political and spiritual preoccupations in a way that is always gesturing toward, or grappling with the possibilities of peace. To that end, Lauren's most recent pieces have looked to explore the tension and power within portraiture by examining the subtle relationship between herself and the subjects she paints. By centering the gaze, beauty and rich humanity of fellow Indigenous people in her recent work, Lauren means to ask poignant questions about how it is Indigenous identities can be represented, experienced, celebrated and understood through the particular gaze that artistry casts and requires. She is an artist who uses her own creative potential to create honest personal expressions that reflect a deep humanity, and a genuine willingness to connect empathetically with the viewers of her art. Furthermore, she understands that her creative power is a poignant way to assert her own humanity, and advocate, in diverse and subtle ways, for the innate intellectual, spiritual, creative and political fortitude of Indigenous people.