Alan Syliboy

Like many others in my generation, I grew up believing that native art was generic – what you see on TV and in other mass media. Visual expressions are part of what makes a culture unique, and, although Mi’kmaq designs are similar to other North American woodland tribes, you can easily recognize the difference.

I looked to the indigenous Mi’kmaq petroglyph tradition (rock drawings) for inspiration and developed my own artistic vocabulary out of those forms.

This purely Mi’kmaq vocabulary he has allowed my brush and pen to lead me to images of family for my series of serigraph prints and more recently my “memory portraits” of my relatives that I call “the Syliboy Series”. I have put new faces on the flow of constellations and galaxies with “Grandfather and Grandmother”.

I celebrate past, present, and future with strong family-centered images suggesting the fantasies of Klee and Miro to those familiar with European art history, but their artistic roots are firmly twined around the rocks found in the ancient grounds of Nova Scotia.

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