Photographer Rosalie Favell is a Winnipeg-born artist of Métis and English ancestry.
Curator Barry Ace commented that, “Favell describes her examination of her Métis heritage as a means to relearn or name it. Growing up, Favell did not realize she was Métis for no one really questions their identity until they are confronted by it (or by being different). So, her early years were somewhat naïve, noting that her parents, siblings, and friends of that time, were simply living it. Being Métis just wasn’t named.” (Ace, 2007)
As an adult, Favell works through ideas related to her own identity and Métis culture in her photography. Barry Ace notes that, “Favell is clearly not speaking for Métis people, nor is she presenting herself as a spokeswoman or expert on Métis culture. What she is presenting is her personal journey through the 21st century as a contemporary Métis woman. Like the work of those she admires like Diane Arbus, Julia Margaret Cameron, Louis Gonzales Palma, and Shelley Niro, Favell too is contributing to a deeper understanding of our collective contemporary reality.” (Ace, 2007)
Favell is highly involved in the Indigenous Arts community as a lecturer and workshop leader. Writer Keith Berens describes Favell’s approach: “through her photographs Rosalie is involved in an exploration of her identity within community. Her notion of community is a multi-layered one encompassing her Métis origins, family, gender, and sexuality. The internal resolution of external questions, and the individual versus society’s norm and paradigms, are issues central to Rosalie’s photographs and life.” (Berens, 1996)
Favell’s mother, the family photographer, and her sister from whom she received her first camera, have been influential in Favell’s choice of studying photography and art. Rosalie received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and her Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photographic Arts from the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, Toronto. She also received her PhD in Cultural Mediations from Carlton University, and has been teaching there, as well as at the University of Ottawa and Discovery University. Her artwork has been shown internationally, and she has spearheaded international collaborations between Australian and Canadian Indigenous artists.