Hands of the Innocent

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“Hands of the Innocent”, 2017 (Acrylic)

Artist Statement

Hands of the Innocent

Mahak Naz

Plaster & Acrylic


The First Nations community has been a target of inequality and violence for centuries. Their history in Canada has been troublesome as the Canadian government and society have treated them unjustly. A main target of violence and missing cases have grown to become more common in the community of indigenous women. Over the years, these women have become the target of rape, kidnapping, and murder. This artwork revolves around the issue of indigenous women being targeted, singled out, and taken advantage of. The topic relates to my theme of chaos being caused by a leader as the Canadian had created a chain reaction that caused these events. Due to the Indian Residential Schools in the late 20th century, in which the government forced young First Nation children to attend boarding schools to isolate and “Westernize” them. This ultimately led to other events such as increased suicide rates, dropout rates, and missing, murder, or rape cases. It also adds to my body of work as it shares the common theme in my other artworks: chaos caused by bad leaders. The artwork is meant to represent the percentage of targeted indigenous women in a general population. Indigenous women missing and violence cases are represented by the hands painted in the colours of the Medicine Wheel, while the general population of other target women are varying skin tones.

The artwork consists of varying components. The irregular sizes and shapes of the hand prints are meant to represent uniqueness and individuality. The varying skin tones represent the general population of women. The red, white, yellow, and black colours on 16 of the hands represent the Medicine Wheel, a sacred symbol that represents health and healing. Indigenous women are the targets of 27% of violence cases, the 16 hands are the 27% of the general population that consists of 62 hands.

My artwork describes the effects of chaos caused by the means of a detrimental ruler. The targeted Indigenous women is the result of previous actions of the Canadian government. This work represents the increased amount of missing, murder, violence, and rape cases in the population of Aboriginal women from the normal population. The varying components come together to bring awareness to the obvious increase of acts of violence that these women face. These elements come together to represent my theme of chaos that is caused due to corrupt leaders.


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