Biennale of Sydney

Adrian Stimson

Left to Right: Adrian Stimson; 'Buffalo Boy Getting it from 4 Directions', 2004; 'Buffalo Boy on the Playa I', 2004; 'Shaman Exterminator on the Playa', 2004; 'Shaman Exterminator', 2004; 'Buffalo Boy', 2004. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Campbelltown Arts Centre. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.
Adrian Stimson, 'Buffalo Boy’s Dreamscape', 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Campbelltown Arts Centre. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. Photograph: Document Photography.
Adrian Stimson, 'Buffalo Boy’s Dreamscape', 2020. Installation view for the 22nd Biennale of Sydney (2020), Campbelltown Arts Centre. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto. Photograph: Zan Wimberley.

Adrian Stimson

Born 1964 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
Lives and works in Alberta, Canada
Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation, located on Treaty 7 Territory in southern Alberta, Canada


"The colonial world will always see me as the other, the outsider, and the problem needing to be dealt with. However, I am Niitsitapi, a Blackfoot person living in this world today and my centre transcends the colonial project. My centre, like the Blackfoot creator / trickster character Napi, transforms colonial thought by turning its constructed stories and language upon itself, using double entendres, resilience, resistance and most importantly, our survival mechanism of humour."

Adrian Stimson’s ludic characters are presented larger than life and in miniature across works exhibited at Campbelltown Arts Centre, unfolding a fantastical world that re-imagines the fictions, stereotypes and archetypes of both the colonial imagination and Indigenous resistance.

Photographs show early depictions of Buffalo Boy, a parody of Buffalo Bill and fusion of identities including the ‘Indian,’ the cowboy, the shaman, and the Two Spirit being, alongside The Shaman Exterminator, who confronts issues around new-age spirituality and a pan-Indian identity. Buffalo Boy’s Dreamscape is the sculptural counterpart to Stimson’s film, Buffalo Boy Dreams in 4 Directions (which screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and Cockatoo Island as part of 15 Screens), showing vignettes where characters fight the colonial project.

Adrian Stimson is an interdisciplinary artist who survived the residential school system in Canada. He challenges the colonial project through painting, digital media, installations and performance. He uses the colonial archive, memory, Indigenous knowledge and humour in confronting genocide. His art speaks to resilience and resistance; ways to thrive in an often-hostile world. 

Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney
Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Exhibited Artwork

Adrian Stimson, Shaman Exterminator Sunrise, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Shaman Exterminator, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Shaman Exterminator on the Playa, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy on the Playa I, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy - Indy Lake I, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy - Indy Lake II, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy Getting it from 4 Directions, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy, 2004, wallpaper. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Ian Grove

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy’s Dreamscape, 2020, 159 3D printed figures, model train set. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Document Photography

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre

Adrian Stimson, Buffalo Boy Dreams in 4 Directions, single-channel digital video, colour, sound. 10:00 mins. Presented at the 22nd Biennale of Sydney with assistance from Canada Council for the Arts and Consulate General of Canada in Sydney. Courtesy the artist and Paul Petro Contemporary Art, Toronto, CA

Photograph: Courtesy the artist

Location: Campbelltown Arts Centre