London-based Curtis Oland is part of a creative movement that challenges the notion of a homogenised indigenous voice across North America. This unique collaborative project highlights the shared key beliefs and perspectives that converge between the immensely diverse indigenous nations of Canada.
Born in 1989, Curtis was raised in Western Canada, where his connection to the mountainous landscape and his Lil’Wat heritage are continual sources of inspiration. Curtis trained at Ryerson University, Toronto, and won the Emerging Menswear Designer Award at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week in 2016. His work often focuses on the use of raw, organic materials and visual references that evoke both fantasy and utility and the interconnected-ness between all forms of life.
His IFS installation, Delicate Tissue, offers visitors a natural and meditative experience. Musing on the ancestral indigenous knowledge that informs his practice, Oland reflects: ‘Our bodies are temporal, privy to the ebb and flow of time and space. What we take from – and give to – the land is a sacred, spiritual exchange.’ Through juxtaposing natural hues and raw textures, delicate and structured silhouettes, Oland delivers a celebration of materials, indigenous nations and their cultures. He reminds us that what we wear connects us… to the spirit, to the land, and, to each other.