Shawna Kiesman was born in Prince Rupert, BC and was raised in Victoria, BC. Her mother is Tsimshian/Nisga’a and her father is Haida/German. Shawna graduated from Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Arts (First Nations Fine Art Diploma). Kiesman continued her education at Emily Carr University of Art + Design to gain her Bachelor of Fine Arts and further develop her artistic skills. Since graduating, Shawna’s career as an artist has continued to thrive, having successfully received multiple grants and residencies. Kiesman continues to explore her art practice using the mediums of digital art, textiles, drawing and painting.
Every piece that Shawna creates, she looks at as opportunities to learn and research more about her culture. It is a process of reclaiming her cultural identity. In Shawna’s recent work, fireweed has been a motif that has influenced her and was inspired by her time working at the Nisga’a Museum and the beautiful land that surrounds it in Laxgalts'ap, BC. Fireweeds are famous for their healing, medicinal qualities and the ability to survive and grow in the harshest of environments.
“I love when I get to hear people's connections to my pieces. I get to experience different perspectives other than my own, which I feel make the process more meaningful.”
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