Dana Claxton | the artist




The artist Dana Claxton
Born 1959, Yorkton, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Lives and works in Vancouver, Canada.

Style and technique of the artist: Installation art, Video, Performance Art, Sydney Biennale,


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Dana Claxton
I’m influenced by my own experience as a Lakota woman, as a Canadian, a mixed blood Canadian, and then my own relationship to the natural and supernatural world. So taking that whole bundle of experiences, it all goes in to the artwork, I think that’s where the multi-layering comes in because I’ve had a very multi-layered life. And it’s all those experiences that go in to the work…

Dana Claxton
Many young artists are using modern technologies such as film, video, and photography in their artistic practice. In this work, Dana Claxton uses performance, found objects and video to strongly state her message. The work refers to British colonial objectives that resulted in the decimation of the buffalo, and the devastating effects upon First Nations people who relied heavily on the buffalo for their survival. Buffalo bones were gathered into huge piles on the prairie. Some bones were exported to England to be used in the production of fine bone china…

Dana Claxton essay
Indigenous medicines from across Turtle Island come from the land, grow from the land and are combined with ancient songs and prayers. People get doctored; medicine women and men exist in most indigenous communities across Canada. The term “he got it from his grandfather” or “she got it from her mother” indicates that families pass their medicine down to the next generation of healers…

Dana Claxton
Online video ‘BUFFALO BONE CHINA

Dana Claxton
Dana Claxton is part of a generation of First Nations artists who employ strategies of contemporary art to address the impact of history on the present. Since the early 1990s, Claxton (born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan), of Lakota (Sioux) descent, has investigated the historical, and continuing, impact of colonialism on Aboriginal cultures in North America. In her work the artist seeks to deconstruct the ways in which images, philosophies and iconographies of First Nations are formed and commodified, both historically and in contemporary mainstream society…



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