Cheryl L’ Hirondelle

Artist in Residence

Biography

Cheryl L’ Hirondelle is a community engaged Indigenous (Cree/Metis/German) multi and interdisciplinary artist and singer/songwriter originally from the land now known as Canada, whose creative practice is an investigation of the junction of a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time space. Since the early 80’s, L’Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including: music, performance art, theatre, spoken word, storytelling and redundant & new media. In the early 90’s, she began a parallel career as an arts consultant / advisor and programmer, cultural strategist / activist, and director / producer. Cheryl’s various activities have also found her working in the Canadian independent music industry, national artist-run centres, educational institutions, the Canadian prison system, First Nations bands, tribal councils and governmental funding agencies, at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. L’Hirondelle’s performance work is featured in Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2001) and Making a Noise: Aboriginal Perspectives on Art, Art History, Critical Writing and Community (2006) and in addition is discussed in a variety of exhibition publications, periodicals and doctorate theses. In 2004, L’Hirondelle was invited to present her work at DAK’ART Lab, at the 6th Edition of the Dakar Biennale for Contemporary African Art, Senegal. In both 2005 and 2006, L’Hirondelle was the recipient of the imagineNATIVE New Media Award for her online net.art projects: treatycard, 17:TELL and wêpinâsowina. Her 2008/9 Song Lines project nikamon ohci askiy (songs because of the land) was recognised as an Official Honouree of the 13th Annual Webby Awards in the NetArt category. Cheryl’s previous musical efforts have also garnered her critical acclaim with a Prairie Music Award nomination (2001), two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards (2006, 2007) and was also nominated for a KM Hunter Music Award in 2011. She is currently co-writing/recording a new canon of prison songs with incarcerated women called Why The Caged Bird Sings and is in research and development phase for a mobile app as part of an ongoing international Song Lines project that sonically remaps colonized lands. She has also recently begun research around using mobile swipe technology in assisted Indigenous language cognition and is helping to facilitate on-reserve workshops to encourage Indigenous youth to become interested in programming/coding.
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