Deron Ahsen:nase Douglas
Art is the interpretation of a three dimensional world onto a two dimensional surface; it is an abstraction of reality, heavily influenced by the artist’s culture, spirit and experiences along an unseen path. I believe that as we travel along this path, experiencing both the good and the not so good, we are picking up pebbles along the way that speak to us.
My art is an expression of those pebbles that make their way to the surface.
My most recent body of work consists of portraits and characterisations of the Onkwehón:we of Turtle Island. In a humble attempt to depict their strength, beauty and spirit, I utilize bold colors, thoughtful design and in some cases, a touch of humor to shout out to history - “We Are Still Here!”
Deron Ahsén:nase Douglas is a Kanien’kehá:ka artist, author, teacher and Urban NDN with roots in the Kahnawà:ke Mohawk Territory.
Working with oils on canvas (although he has dabbled in stone and wood carving, clay, photography, water color, acrylic and print-making), he now creates unique fine art inspired by his Kanien’kehá:ka culture and the culture of other First Nations people.
This culture he states, “...is an abundant source of creative expression” that helps him to entwine traditional values with contemporary subject matter. Working with bold colors, a crisp design and a unique sense of humour, he creates what he calls “a culmination of pebbles picked up along the path”.
He continues to work within his favourite medium and signs his oil paintings with his Kanien’kéha name as he did more than 40 years ago.
The artist is currently working on a number of large scale paintings for two solo shows in 2019 that examines Native North American/First Nations/Indigenous identity, culture and perspectives through portaiture and characterizations. His paintings can be found within private collections across Canada and the United States, as well as Australia.
He is self-taught with formal training in art history and visual design, photography, computer science, social science, education and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. As an Indigenous Artist in Residence for the YRDSB he has been given the opportunity to share his art, culture and stories to a variety of students.