Peter Bighetty, Native Canadian Artist, Toronto (Canada)
Peter Bighetty is originally from Pukatawagan Cree Nation.
“Growing up I was always fishing, trapping and hunting, out and about in the wilderness. That’s where I get the ideas for most of my paintings,” Bighetty explains. “In the reservation, you’re surrounded by nature all the time. For me, nature represents my memories of the past. Bringing those memories onto canvas is something I really enjoy.”
It was in high school in Winnipeg when Bighetty began to experiment with painting and drawing, building upon his skills throughout his teenage years.
“When I first started painting on canvas, it was a completely new experience for me, I had never done anything like that before. It was a chance to try out something new and see if I had a knack for it. I got great feedback straight away,” he recalls.
Bighetty’s unique work features paintings of Canadian landscape within the silhouettes of wildlife. The stunning use of bold colours perfectly complements his designs. “I gravitate towards red, orange and yellow tones because they remind me of the sunset.”
When describing his artistic process, Bighetty says he use freestyle with some pre-planning. “I try not to think too much and just go with it. I plan ahead what kind of silhouette I’m going to work with, as well as the general colour range, but after that it’s more of a freestyle flow,” he says.
“I don’t know exactly how to describe my own work. People tell me it’s contemporary and abstract. For me, it’s more about playing around with the colours and seeing an idea come to life.”
It is important for Bighetty to represent what it means to be a native artist in a positive way, and aims to utilize his artistic success as a way to encourage others.