Meryl McMaster earned her BFA in Photography from the Ontario College of Art and Design University (2010) and is currently based in Québec, Canada. 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 nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), British and Dutch ancestry.
McMaster’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Urban Shaman, Winnipeg (2021), McCord Steward Museum, Montreal (2021), Canada House, London (2020), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2019), Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto (2019), Glenbow, Calgary (2019), The Room, St. John's (2018) Momenta Biennale, Montreal (2017), Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Santa Fe (2015), and Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, New York (2015), amongst others.
From 2016-2020, her solo exhibition Confluence travelled to nine cities in Canada, including stops at the Richmond Art Gallery (2017), Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay (2017), University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge (2018), and The Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery, Sarnia (2020).
Her work has also appeared in group exhibitions at Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2021), Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa (2020), Australian Centre for Photography, Australia (2019), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2018), Ottawa Art Gallery (2018, 2019), Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery (2016, 2019), the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (2019), Plug In Institute for Contemporary Art, Winnipeg (2017), and Art Gallery of Guelph (2017), amongst others.
She was shortlisted for the Rencontres d’Arles New Discovery Award 2019 and longlisted for the 2016 Sobey Art Award and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award, REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, Charles Pachter Prize for Emerging Artists, Canon Canada Prize, Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship and OCAD U Medal.
Her work has been collected by significant Canadian institutions, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, and the National Gallery of Canada.