Nika Feldman is a self described rag picker/costume ethnographer and has worked as a contemporary textile artist for over fifteen years. The conceptual narratives behind her art focus on the connections between people, culture, clothing and identity.
“Costume acts as the visual language of a culture, communicating on numerous levels a mass of information. I have always felt a reverence towards and a power from the traditional costume of indigenous, aboriginal and tribal people. This is what guides my travels and my work.”
Nika’s travels have led her to countries such as: Mexico, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, and India, among others. Her work as an artist has been supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, Arts Nova Scotia, and the Vermont Arts Council. Additionally, she has been the recipient of a handful of scholarships, most notably the Japanese Monbugakusho. Feldman’s work has been exhibited internationally and is disseminated upon completion of exhibition – as she refuses to put a commercial value on her work, and instead gifts out all pieces back into the communities from where they were created. Most recently, American Craft magazine did a cover story about Nika for their August/September 2016 issue.
“Unlike most artists in the textile field, I am not interested in technique – not to document, learn, utilize, or teach one technique or another. Instead it is the intangible elements which we clothe ourselves in literally and figuratively that speak about a culture’s world view, value systems, and daily realities, this is what I search out – to experience, learn from and share through my art.”
Nika lives a life of minimal subsistence for half the year in rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia without electricity or hot water. Similarly when traveling, she carries only the bare essentials: needle & thread, a journal for sketching & writing and one change of clothes.