Born in Quebec, raised in Ontario, and currently living in British Columbia, Diane Blunt is an artist of mixed descent – Anishnawbe (Ojibway) on her father’s side and German on her mother’s. She is a member of the Kawartha Nishnawbe Nation. A recent BFA Graduate in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the nature of her work explores the life, history, and bark of the birch tree through drawing, painting, and material practices.
She has been the recipient of multiple funding awards including the Brissenden Scholarship, the Ian Gillespie Aboriginal Scholarship, and the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Scholarship. This year she attends awarded artist residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts and at Mnisiing/Toronto Island at Artscape Gibraltar Point.
I’m inspired by the examination and revalidation of the histories of my heritage. Today, cultures are constantly being blended, which is an interesting place to look for synergies. Currently, my practice involves working with birch bark. I bite it with my teeth, use it in my paintings, and explore the use of it as an outer skin or texture. Indeed, my intimate use of it connects me to my Indigenous heritage and as a material allows me able to explore ideas around colonialism, environmentalism, generational histories, and assimilation.