Performance artist, musician and graphic artist Chandra Melting Tallow (Siksika) offers up her unique contribution to the Vancity Native youth media scene.
Chandra was taught by her mother at a very young age to use her creative practice as a vehicle to contribute to a process of decolonization, and true to form, her work expresses her special place in the world. Chandra’s unique blend of experimental, layered video and audio activism is sure to make impressions on the west coast scene.
A year ago, Chandra was on the fast-track to performance art stardom in Montreal, where she attended Concordia University specializing in Studio Arts and Sociology. Just short of her degree she was forced to quit school and move back to her home town of Calgary due to the sudden development of a debilitating seizure disorder.
As it so often is with illness one must call on strong survivor skills by establishing strict self-care regimes. She now recognizes the fine art of listening to her body. Chandra shares:
“It was so hard to accept it at the time but now I realize I had to go through all that so that I could be where I am now,”
After abandoning her university education, she co-founded Desperate Living Records with some friends in Calgary and began feeding her energy into supporting fellow artists through poster design, graphics and throwing shows. Chandra took the opportunity to re-evaluate her direction by transforming her disorder into an opportunity for a fresh start.
During her time in Montreal, Chandra had been deeply affected by the work of the Missing Justice Collective and their efforts to raise awareness about the missing and murdered Native women in Canada. After hearing about the Walk 4 Justice, co-founded by East Van’s own Bernie Williams and Gladys Radek, Chandra dreamed of returning to the west coast.
Now on the mend and with her health in check, Chandra Melting Tallow recently transplanted herself to East Vancouver and most recently landed a job as the Visual Design Coordinator for redwiremag.com.
You can check out more examples of her raw and tender performance art on Chandrameltingtallow.blogspot.com.
Mourning Coup is one of Chandra’s solo projects…. enjoy!