16 Million Colours – Buffy St .Marie

April 2013 - October 2013

Artist - Buffy Sainte Marie

The Great Hall Gallery at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan is proud to present Sixteen Million Colours, the first survey exhibition of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s digital work, produced from 1984 to 2011. Utilizing 24 bits per pixel, or a 16 million color palette, Sainte-Marie created 11 large-scale, electric, pixel images ofwarriors, elders, mythological creatures and self-portraits, that contemporize and bridge the past with the present.

Buffy Sainte-Marie realized the potential of computers as artistic tools early in the onset of the computer age, when she began composing her songs digitally in a virtual studio. In 1984, she began experimenting with graphic design programs such as MacPaint, SuperPaint, PixelPaint and Photoshop. Almost three decades later, these works reflect the visionary spirit of Sainte-Marie, as an innovator of digital art-making.

The digital work in Sixteen Million Colours echoes Sainte-Marie’s love of artistic experimentation through art that is multilayered both technically and conceptually. She explains, “One thing all these works have in common, they all combine layers of different realities as well as techniques – photographic, scanned objects, digital painting, painting and layers of ideas and emotions.” The pieces in this collection reflect Sainte-Marie’s development as a digital artist as well as her Aboriginal identity.