Buffy Sainte-Marie approached the digital medium as she has with every facet of her diverse career – with trailblazing ingenuity. Reflect back to 1984 – a time when the internet was almost unheard of and home computers were in their infancy – Buffy was there, building pieces of this collection within the confines of the very first versions of MacPaint on the earliest Macintosh models. The technology was nothing like the digital production resources we have today and were used primarily as tools for marketing and graphic design, not creating fine art with emotional impact. Being void of prefabricated filters or options for multiple layers, the process of creating artful images required dexterity and patience. Rising above the limitations of the software, she injected as much depth of tradition and attention to detail with pixels as one would with intricate beadwork or classic oils. Meticulously blending scanned images of her wet studio paintings, in-progress drawings and sketches with those of real fibers, feathers and beads, Buffy crafted these digital tapestries with the precision and care of a natural-born storyteller. The visual and intellectual brilliance of this collection is undeniably ahead of its time.

Limited edition prints of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s visual work reside in permanent collections in the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, First Nations University, and the Tucson Art Museum, and have been exhibited at the Glenbow Museum, the MacKenzie Art Gallery, the Isaacs Gallery, the Walter Phillips Gallery, the Gallery for Contemporary and Indigenous Art (Tuscon), The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gurevich Fine Art (Winnipeg), Penticton Art Gallery and private collections throughout North America.


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Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s image of a young Mohawk man contemplating his future integrates photography, blur and circular brush strokes to imply his identity is in flux. His pose is repeated and layered, portraying his existence as an open portal, encapsulating his youth, his forebears, his desires and his potential.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

Klimt-esque in its composition, multiple colour variations of this piece depict a woman and a Jaguar, the sacred symbol of the power of nature. The artist sits, unconcerned with the instability of her surroundings, levitating above the chaos and relaxing into her metamorphosis. The presence of the Jaguar cub and the power of their connection describes an Ayahuasca consciousness.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

This fragmented image of an elder materializing over an inhabited valley, bearing witness to the chaos and destruction of his way of life, suggests generations of indigenous presence. His ghostly existence is appearing and disappearing between the modern world and traditional community.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

Yaqui From The Wings encompasses the perspective of the performer, reaching out to connect to diverse hearts yet simultaneously remaining self-conscious of the unique perception of each viewer. It is the story of a beloved dancer on stage, watched from the wings by his relatives. He ignores the audience but notices the viewer witnessing his act. His gaze exposes his awareness to us. In this simple pause, Buffy intimately connects us to her work with humour and humility.

Limited Edition print on Archival Watercolour Paper

The Trickster is described in countless legends as the sacred entity who takes on many forms – seen here as Wapoose, or rabbit, on the verge of change – with eagle feathers as ears. The symmetry and placement of his features tricks the eye as his form fluctuates. His earrings mimic the modern masks of comedy and tragedy. By tradition, Indigenous heroes exist in undefined roles and are simultaneously dangerous and amourous, serious and humourous. Buffy’s re-imagined image offers a metaphor for the fascination and frustration of contemporary efforts to define tradition and distinguish between the sacred and the profane.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

‘Neon Hula’ depicts the mesmerizing movement of three dancers in jewel tones, their hair accentuated in electric blue, swaying in sync with the branches of plumeria trees.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

Self-portraits are often the result of the artist in isolation, using their own identities out of necessity, volunteering themselves as placeholders for all of us as individuals among the mass collective. This stunning self-portrait depicts Buffy as the identifying human visage, emerging from beads and feathers as though her very thoughts, voice and creations are manifesting those patterns. Her features burst forward from the blackened void of the digital realm in a prismatic phenomenon.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

This self-portrait depicts the artist receiving the world in pieces, bracing for the blinding wave of the digital age that is about to engulf us all. The contrast and saturation results in a skull-like background image which, in the indigenous perspective, represents humanity. The gesture injects an awareness and reception of the beauty, intensity and unseen potential in this new virtual realm. This image made its public debut at the Emily Carr College of Fine Art in Vancouver in June of 1994 as the logo for the Pixel Pushers Exhibit of Digital Art.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

With spirit-like presence, Buffy’s homage to the figures of L.A. Huffman’s 1881 portrait of two indigenous men semi-materializes them into our present psychedelic digital world. Moved by their long-gone realities while working on this piece, Sainte-Marie honoured them by placing scanned eagle feathers of her own in each man’s grasp. One holds a staff, adorned with her eagle feathers, and the other holds the scanned image of the eagle feather fan given to her by respected Blackfoot Elder, Ed Calf Robe, a significant figure in Buffy’s personal connection to her indigenous roots.

Limited Edition print on KODAK Metallic VC digital paper

In true celebration of the divine feminine, depicting a woman with child inside, submerged in the ecosystem of her island cohabitants, she embodies the nucleus of creation. Tranquility and purpose pulsate through the vibrancy of jewel tones and flow in unison into the deep beyond.