Art Holes: Maanii Oakes

Art holes is a column where artists diagram their work spaces. This issue, artist Maanii Oakes gives us a look.

I work on my drawings and Indigenous material sculptures from a mattress on the floor of my rooming house apartment on Queen Street West in Toronto. My apartment is covered in silly tags drawn by friends and family, artworks, knives, and concert flyers. I’m new to living in this space, and I am slowly setting it up to be more functional. However, even then, I expect to work in a puddle of blankets. My work is influenced by my family and lands — living in Toronto, these are hard to access sometimes. What I produce is not always reflective of my current condition. In this illustration of my workspace, I purposefully depicted this content being barred from my space, as that loss contributes to the emotion behind my art. I wear one of my favourite shirts in this sketch, bearing the logo for Aztec black metal band Volahn. My nest is loud and cluttered.

Maanii Oakes is a swampy Cree Anishnabek and Kanienkehaka cultural tattoo practitioner and visual artist in the media of skin stitch, hand poke, pencil crayon and, most recently, raw-hide sculpture. Her work is influenced by her home of Sagamok and Eeyou Istchee, as well as Toronto, where she currently resides.