Roxanne Charles is a mixed media artist of Strait Salish and European descent. She is an active and proud member of Semiahmoo First Nation in Surrey, British Columbia where she promotes art, language, and culture. Roxanne is a contemporary story teller whose goal is to touch, move, and inspire others through her work.
She works with a wide range of media. Her work often explores a variety of themes such as spirituality, identity, hybridity, the environment, urbanization and various forms of structural violence.
In this episode, Roxanne discusses:
-Her artistic history and how she got to the point she was at today.
-The moment that she realized that she could get back into art as a potential career.
-How she uses art as a tool to engage in conversations with people.
-Some of the issues that she tries to use her art to start the conversation, such as colonization and the displacement of women.
-How creating an art community allows the art to be seen and touched by so many more people, so that it can evoke more conversation and communication.
-How she is often very hard on herself and that makes her to not want to share it (and how to get over that fear).
-The power that comes in just starting a project.
-How her worst moment and her best moment went hand in hand at her graduation project.
-Her 10 foot tall transformation figure.
-The weaving group that she created and the benefits that come from being in a group like that.
-How it is therapeutic to work on art with other people.
-Her advice for anyone who wants to get involved with artistic groups or communities.
-How most of her inspiration comes from nature and the outdoors.
Roxanne’s Final Push will inspire you to share what is really on your mind and what you really feel, because there are people out there that can gain something from your creativity!
“I have always liked art and enjoyed creating things, however it wasn’t a path that I believed I could pursue.”
“Conceptual art is a way that you can engage the public in a lot of the things that you care about. So for me it has become more about advocacy than the actual process of art. I find that I use it as a tool to interact and inspire others and engage in conversations that people might not typically have.”
“I don’t think the answers lie within myself, but they lie within someone who doesn’t know they exist.”
“I try not to preach or protest, but provoke questions that would engage people in offering up their own ideas, rather than asserting my own.”
“I tend to be really hard on myself so nothing is ever good enough. Sometimes that prevents me from wanting to share it.”
“Every opportunity that I have to start something, I start it, and then try to take the time to continue it. It’s not a race. It’s about enjoying the process of creating and trying not to be too hard on myself.”
“When I’m able to start creating it, I’m ten steps ahead of where I would have been if I just contemplated not doing it or not having enough time.”
“I think failures are the best. It’s the best way to learn, to have things stick with you, and to discover new things that you wouldn’t have considered possible before.”
“I constantly challenge myself to do things I’m not comfortable with.”
“I find that personal and human interaction is a good way to engage the public. There’s things that you can’t say through a sculpture or a painting or a vase.”
“I don’t believe that art should be just visual. It should be more experiential.”
“Your ideas are valid. There are people that want to know what you have to say and want to see what you have to create.”