Shelley Niro | Tilt / Shift















SHELLEY NIRO


Like many artists, I use self portraiture for convenience. If an idea comes to mind and I need a figure to demonstrate a particular emotion or a look only I know, I will often place myself in front of the camera, as there is no one else around when these moments arise.













































In 1990 I produced a series, MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, where I used my sisters as subjects, but also relegated myself to participate in one of the photos. This resulted in PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES.





























































In 1992, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND, a series of triptychs, I exclusively used myself dressed in costume, and, for the final triptych, I dressed as plainly as I could. The centre image is one of my family, my sister, my daughters, my mother, my father. Some of the photos are from my family archives, and are of people I don’t know and have never met.











When I first started to work on MIME LAND, I was shy doing this kind of work. I was never comfortable seeing myself as the subject. I rented costumes from the local costume rental store and brought them home. I made up the rest of the costumes from articles I had around my house. As I started to develop the series I lost my self-consciousness and started to enjoy this bit of acting. And now, I don’t feel this way about self-portraiture anymore. As an artist I use the tools at hand, and have developed a personal strength I didn’t know I had.







Some of the pieces are easily identifiable. The Star Trek piece, known as The Final Frontier; the Marilyn Monroe; 500 Year Itch; and Elvis, Love Me Tender are from modern popular culture.













The one I like the most, and that doesn’t have any real contemporary title, is SURVIVOR. Here I am dressed as a one-eyed trapeze artist. The image in the middle is of my father’s grandmother. By combining this image with mine, I have put myself in this woman’s shoes, trying to imagine what she has gone through. The only information I have about her are the stories my father would tell us as children. It’s funny how the remembered narrative creates a foundation on which you develop your own culture and from this you have the ability to go in any direction you choose.







































































































































In 2015 I made another triptych, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL. The titles or pronouns attached to Native people are constantly changing. I was born under the title of Indian and have this written on my birth certificate. We were placed under this banner from the beginning of European invasion. Now, in an attempt to make the transition of Truth and Reconciliation more attractive, that title is no longer appropriate. We are called First Nations, Indigenous, Native. The title that is most disturbing to me is Aboriginal. I cannot call myself this. It feels like a science experiment gone bad.

As I age I wish I had made more self-portraits. I could be using them in my work now, and they could have served as a record of that process.



































IMAGES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Shelley Niro, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES, 1990.
Shelley Niro, The Final Frontier, 1992.
Shelley Niro, 500 Year Itch, 1992.
Shelley Niro, Love Me Tender, 1992.
Shelley Niro, SURVIVOR, 1992.
Shelley Niro, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL, 2015.








Image
SHELLEY NIRO


Like many artists, I use self portraiture for convenience. If an idea comes to mind and I need a figure to demonstrate a particular emotion or a look only I know, I will often place myself in front of the camera, as there is no one else around when these moments arise.





Image





In 1990 I produced a series, MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, where I used my sisters as subjects, but also relegated myself to participate in one of the photos. This resulted in PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES.







Image
In 1992, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND, a series of triptychs, I exclusively used myself dressed in costume, and, for the final triptych, I dressed as plainly as I could. The centre image is one of my family, my sister, my daughters, my mother, my father. Some of the photos are from my family archives, and are of people I don’t know and have never met.



Image
When I first started to work on MIME LAND, I was shy doing this kind of work. I was never comfortable seeing myself as the subject. I rented costumes from the local costume rental store and brought them home. I made up the rest of the costumes from articles I had around my house. As I started to develop the series I lost my self-consciousness and started to enjoy this bit of acting. And now, I don’t feel this way about self-portraiture anymore. As an artist I use the tools at hand, and have developed a personal strength I didn’t know I had.



Image
Some of the pieces are easily identifiable. The Star Trek piece, known as The Final Frontier; the Marilyn Monroe; 500 Year Itch; and Elvis, Love Me Tender are from modern popular culture.




Image
The one I like the most, and that doesn’t have any real contemporary title, is SURVIVOR. Here I am dressed as a one-eyed trapeze artist. The image in the middle is of my father’s grandmother. By combining this image with mine, I have put myself in this woman’s shoes, trying to imagine what she has gone through. The only information I have about her are the stories my father would tell us as children. It’s funny how the remembered narrative creates a foundation on which you develop your own culture and from this you have the ability to go in any direction you choose.




Image Image
In 2015 I made another triptych, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL. The titles or pronouns attached to Native people are constantly changing. I was born under the title of Indian and have this written on my birth certificate. We were placed under this banner from the beginning of European invasion. Now, in an attempt to make the transition of Truth and Reconciliation more attractive, that title is no longer appropriate. We are called First Nations, Indigenous, Native. The title that is most disturbing to me is Aboriginal. I cannot call myself this. It feels like a science experiment gone bad.

As I age I wish I had made more self-portraits. I could be using them in my work now, and they could have served as a record of that process.







IMAGES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Shelley Niro, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES, 1990.
Shelley Niro, The Final Frontier, 1992.
Shelley Niro, 500 Year Itch, 1992.
Shelley Niro, Love Me Tender, 1992.
Shelley Niro, SURVIVOR, 1992.
Shelley Niro, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL, 2015.








Image
SHELLEY NIRO


Like many artists, I use self portraiture for convenience. If an idea comes to mind and I need a figure to demonstrate a particular emotion or a look only I know, I will often place myself in front of the camera, as there is no one else around when these moments arise.





Image





In 1990 I produced a series, MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, where I used my sisters as subjects, but also relegated myself to participate in one of the photos. This resulted in PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES.







Image
In 1992, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND, a series of triptychs, I exclusively used myself dressed in costume, and, for the final triptych, I dressed as plainly as I could. The centre image is one of my family, my sister, my daughters, my mother, my father. Some of the photos are from my family archives, and are of people I don’t know and have never met.



Image
When I first started to work on MIME LAND, I was shy doing this kind of work. I was never comfortable seeing myself as the subject. I rented costumes from the local costume rental store and brought them home. I made up the rest of the costumes from articles I had around my house. As I started to develop the series I lost my self-consciousness and started to enjoy this bit of acting. And now, I don’t feel this way about self-portraiture anymore. As an artist I use the tools at hand, and have developed a personal strength I didn’t know I had.



Image
Some of the pieces are easily identifiable. The Star Trek piece, known as The Final Frontier; the Marilyn Monroe; 500 Year Itch; and Elvis, Love Me Tender are from modern popular culture.




Image
The one I like the most, and that doesn’t have any real contemporary title, is SURVIVOR. Here I am dressed as a one-eyed trapeze artist. The image in the middle is of my father’s grandmother. By combining this image with mine, I have put myself in this woman’s shoes, trying to imagine what she has gone through. The only information I have about her are the stories my father would tell us as children. It’s funny how the remembered narrative creates a foundation on which you develop your own culture and from this you have the ability to go in any direction you choose.




Image Image
In 2015 I made another triptych, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL. The titles or pronouns attached to Native people are constantly changing. I was born under the title of Indian and have this written on my birth certificate. We were placed under this banner from the beginning of European invasion. Now, in an attempt to make the transition of Truth and Reconciliation more attractive, that title is no longer appropriate. We are called First Nations, Indigenous, Native. The title that is most disturbing to me is Aboriginal. I cannot call myself this. It feels like a science experiment gone bad.

As I age I wish I had made more self-portraits. I could be using them in my work now, and they could have served as a record of that process.







IMAGES IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Shelley Niro, PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST, SITTING WITH A KILLER, SURROUNDED BY FRENCH CURVES, 1990.
Shelley Niro, The Final Frontier, 1992.
Shelley Niro, 500 Year Itch, 1992.
Shelley Niro, Love Me Tender, 1992.
Shelley Niro, SURVIVOR, 1992.
Shelley Niro, ABNORMALLY ABORIGINAL, 2015.









SHELLEY NIRO | Shelley was born in Niagara Falls, New York and grew up on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario. Through her work, she challenges the expectations placed on Indigenous people by telling their stories from her own perspective. | shelleyniro.ca

WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGN | Natasha Whyte-Gray

SHELLEY NIRO | Shelley was born in Niagara Falls, New York and grew up on the Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, near Brantford, Ontario. Through her work, she challenges the expectations placed on Indigenous people by telling their stories from her own perspective. | shelleyniro.ca

WEB & GRAPHIC DESIGN | Natasha Whyte-Gray
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