Meryl McMaster was born and is currently based in Ottawa, Canada. She earned a BFA in Photography from OCAD University in Toronto (2010) and is known for her large-format self-portraits that have a distinct performative quality.
She explores questions of self through land, lineage, history, and culture, with specific reference to her mixed Plains Cree/British and Dutch ancestry. McMaster’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and abroad, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON), Ryerson Image Centre (Toronto, ON), Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney, AUS), Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian (New York, NY), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (Santa Fe, NM), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Montreal, QC), and the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham, UK). Her awards include the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award (2018), REVEAL Indigenous Art Award (2017), Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellow Award (2013), Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists (2012), and was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Discovery Award (2019) and longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award. Her work is widely represented in collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, Eiteljorg Museum, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Heard Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Ottawa Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of History, and the National Museum of American Indian.