Shelley Niro

 Resting with Warriors (Spirit), 2002, woodcut (original size 3’ x 6’) 

Shelley Niro, OCA graduate, MFA (University of Western Ontario) member of the Six Nations, Bay of Quinte Mohawk Turtle Clan, is an award winning multimedia artist. Her numerous awards include the Governor General’s, Scotiabank Photography, Hnatyshyn Foundation. Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Ontario Arts Council’s Aboriginal Arts Award. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including the 2003 Venice Biennale, and is represented in major museum collections. 

While reflecting on the War of 1812, Shelley could not help but to think of all the women who were left behind by the Haudenosaunee warriors. Niro surmised that the women would have needed specific skills to survive and sustain their villages while the men were away. The female figure (one of 4 from the series “Resting with Warriors”) carries the word “Spirit” on her belt; she is the glue that binds the community together as evoked by the shawl and her outstretched arms.