Michael Fatt, Chippewyan Dene, was stolen from his family during the Sixties Scoop. He did not find his family until his mid thirties, in Lutsel K'e, NWT. At that time he began to take his art seriously. "I was in a wrong place. When I came home, I felt clear and free to express myself. People told me, even the cops would tell me, that I’d always be a jailbird. But now I know nothing negative can impact me anymore. I’m not the best artist in the world, I’m not Michelangelo, I’m just developing. I don’t quite know how to say this, but the figures in my paintings are me. It’s my spirit, it’s who I want to be, it’s who I probably should be, my self right now and my future self. Lately I like paintings with some form of charge, a spiritual or electrical charge. It is me, trying to regain my spirit."
Fatt’s work is a good example of a style of painting that has evolved in the South Slave region, a style influenced by Archie Beaulieu, James Wedzin, and John Rombough. His ‘electric’ skies though, are all his own. They are like a late 70’s electric guitar solo, like a quick crack of white lightening, like one of those magic nights under the stars.
This exhibition took place during the Ramble & Ride Festival, August 2019, in Yellowknife's Old Town. Art Gallery of NWT gratefully acknowledges the support of the NWT Arts Council.