Mount Island No. 4 Cover Art
“How do we feel and accept the fullness of pain and suffering, and still believe we will survive them? What relationships are we cultivating between our own body and the bodies of others? How do we live in the in-between spaces, and live well?”
Lilly E. Manycolors is a diverse heritage Indigenous mixed media artist known for her emotionally-excavating artworks and performances. Deeply rooted in her Choctaw and Anishinaabe traditions, she draws from her personal journeys to create pieces that offer safer spaces for decolonial dialogue, intimate connections, and new ways of being. Her art focuses on the human condition, bringing into conversation experiences of otherness, transformation, trauma and healing, gender, and possibilities of being one’s complex self. Through her pieces she invites her audience to traverse vast emotional terrains with her and explore the depths of personhood together. How do we feel and accept the fullness of pain and suffering, and still believe we will survive them? What relationships are we cultivating between our own body and the bodies of others? How do we live in the in-between spaces, and live well? These questions and more she brings alive through her various art forms, mostly self-taught, including visual art, dance, poetry, and performance art.
Lilly grew up between the United States and Australia with her single mother. Her childhood was wrought with poverty and abuse, leading her to leave home at fifteen and drop out of school at sixteen. Moving every few years, she grew up disconnected from her Indigenous heritage and she struggled to feel a sense of belonging to any one place or person, including herself. In her later years she began to make her way home to her traditions, giving her the freedom to live as her intersectional self. In Ojibwemowin she is Wiisakodewikwe, Native womxn of mixed heritage which places her work in the forefront of change making and culture creating. With the birth of her daughter came another homecoming and catalyzed her most recent artworks, Seven Womxn Series, which harnesses the powerful lessons of her motherhood, being a single mother and her traditional ways to begin her process of healing and creating healing spaces. Lilly’s artistry is focused on decolonial psychology and trauma integration, creating practical tools for everyday.