Dana Claxton works in film, video, photography, single- and multi-channel video installation, and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the socio-political, and the spiritual. Her work has been shown internationally at the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Centre, Sundance Film Festival, Eiteljorg Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and held in public collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery, National Gallery of Canada, Art Bank of Canada, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. She has received numerous awards including the VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship.
Her work was selected for a Vancouver Art Gallery career survery (2018), the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010), Biennale de Montréal (2007), Biennale d’art contemporain du Havre, France (2006), Micro Wave, Hong Kong (2005) Art Star Biennale, Ottawa (2005), and Wro 03 Media Arts Biennale Wroclaw Poland (2003). She has created commissioned works for the University of Lethbridge Gallery, Alternator Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Urban Shaman, Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, and Tribe. She has presented talks at the Getty Institute and the Art College Association and the Opening Week Forum of the Biennale of Sydney.
Claxton was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan, and her family reserve is Lakota First Nations – Wood Mountain, located in beautiful southwest Saskatchewan. Her paternal Euro-Canadian grandmother taught her how to harvest and preserve food and her maternal Lakota grandmother taught her to seek justice. Dana is the youngest of four siblings, an auntie, niece, cousin, and daughter.
Dana Claxton reflects on historical archives and highlights the human propensity to render itself, from Indigenous rock art, to photography, to governmental correspondence. She addresses the complexities of colonialism–past and present–through strategic subversion, and investigates the buried histories of the Wild West, with specific attention to Sitting Bull who shares her Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux ancestry. The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria presents nine works from Claxton’s most recent series, “Indian Candy.” The works articulate her attempts “to bring forth a reversal of a whitewash of history by using vibrant colours to beautify the history and make historical discourses and research documents into critical contemporary art that has been influenced by pop art, political art, and shared and contested histories.”