M: Stories of Women

Shelley Niro, Ancestor, 152.4 x 101.6 cm digital photograph, 2011

Shelley Niro, Legacy, 152.4 x 101.6 cm digital photograph, 2011

Shelley Niro, Finding Her Helpers, 152.4 x 101.6 cm digital photograph, 2011

Shelley Niro, M: Stories of Women, Installation view at Gallery 44

Shelley Niro, M: Stories of Women, Installation view at Gallery 44

M: Stories of Women

Friday, October 14, 2011 to Saturday, November 12, 2011
Opening Reception:
October 14,
6:00PM to 9:00PM
About the Exhibition: 

Artist and curator talk Fri Oct 14 at 6:30 pm 

M: Stories of Women is a series of large scale photographs that incorporate elements of myth and portraiture to contest the prevailing narratives that define First Nations existence. The letter M in the title references the myriad characterizations of First Nations women.  It could be taken to reference earlier title and incarnation of the work (Monster) or it could reference other traits or roles such as maternal or mother. The amibiguity of the title affords Niro the ability to explore several issues in and outside the context of gender. The incorporation of overlapping elements with found imagery, landscape photography and portraiture allows for complex presentations of each of the series' subjects. – Sally Frater

Artist Biography: 

Shelley Niro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Mohawk, Turtle Clan. Niro was born in Niagara Falls, NY, 1954; currently living in Brantford, Ontario. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art with honours in visual arts and received her MFA from the University of Western Ontario. In 2001, she became an Eiteljorg recipient at the Museum of Western and Indian Arts, Indiana, Indianapolis. She has participated in the Women in The Director's Chair Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, 2003. In the fall of 2006, Shelley was selected to be a fellow with Women in Film and GM Accelerator Grants. Niro’s works of art can be found in the Museuem of Civilization, the National Gallery and the Contemporary Photography Museum of Canada and the Portrait Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario. The Rockwell Museum, Corning New York, the University of Seattle, Library and the National Museum of the American Indian.


Sally Frater holds a BA in Studio Arts from the University of Guelph, a post-graduate diploma in Museum Management and Curatorship from Fleming College and an MA in Contemporary Art from Sotheby’s Institute of Art/The University of Manchester. As independent curator and writer, she has curated exhibitions at A Space Gallery, The Art Gallery of Peterborough, the McMaster Museum of Art and The Print Studio and her writing has appeared in Border Crossings Magazine, Fuse, C Magazine, Blackflash, NKA and Canadian Art. She has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, is a member of IKT, the International Association of Contemporary Curators and is, along with Pamela Edmonds, a co-founder of Third Space Art Projects.