Making Mischief, by Nicola Levell, is based on the work of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas a Haida visual artist and author of many books including Haida manga, an artistic genre that crosses cultures and disciplines. In this illustrated exploration of the art of Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Mischief Making disproves any notion that play is frivolous. Deploying playful and punning tactics, Yahgulanaas shines a spotlight on serious topics.
Expressive and exuberant, comic and imaginative: these characteristics suffuse the work of the internationally recognized creator of Haida manga. His distinctive style stretches, twists, and flips the formlines of classic Haida art to create imagery that resonates with the graphic vitality of Asian manga. Mischief Making delineates the evolution of the artist's visual practice into a uniquely hybrid aesthetic, uncovering its philosophical underpinnings.
This engaging, beautiful book reveals the artist's deep understanding of the seriousness of play. As he investigates the intersections of Indigenous and other world views, the politics of land, cultural heritage, and global ecology, Yahgulanaas disrupts the expected, allowing different ways of experiencing, knowing, and seeing the world to emerge.
This is an exciting journey through the refreshing life’s work of one of Canada’s foremost Indigenous artists. Learning from Nicola Levell’s insightful analysis opens the eyes to a wondrous world beyond stale and superseded categories of ‘tradition’, ‘Western’ and ‘Indigenous’! Highly recommended! - Arnd Schneider, professor, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo