About the Artist
Robert Gary Miller-Lahiaaks was born in 1950 on the Six Nations Mohawk Reserve in Brantford Ontario. At the age of two he was taken from his Longhouse family and his community. Miller served eleven years (1953-1964) in the Mohawk Institute, or as it was known to student-inmates- the Mush Hole. During Miller's time at the Mush Hole he experienced violent daily life that included sexual assault at the hands of staff. Miller uses his art to tell the story of what happened to him and others within the residential school.
"Serving Time at The Mush Hole: Visual Testimony of R. G. Miller-Lahiaaks (Mohawk, Six Nations) — Selected works from Mush Hole Remembered (2008)." opened at the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre on September 12, 2013. In the words of artist R.G. Miller, this exhibit represents “a combination of vague, mundane memories of years at the school, and flashes of horror experienced there. They are the strongest memories I could approach without descending into a place I would not be able to emerge from.”
R. G. Miller was educated at the Ontario College of Art, the University of Toronto, and Trent University. His classical art education equipped him to work with great versatility in several modes of contemporary art. His style can be variously reminiscent of the Group of Seven, Miro, Rothko and Edvard Munch among others. While expressing a distinctive yet varied Miller style, he can move the viewer to a place of deep sorrow, kin with the world’s suffering and his own, AND he can lift the viewer to great heights on the wings of colour and brush stroke which fuels the imagination and lightens the spirit.
R. G. Miller is one of Canada’s most distinctive Indigenous artists at work today, reflecting his own Indigenous experience in a multi-faceted artistic conversation across diverse modes and cultures.
Robert Gary Miller series (http://archives.algomau.ca/main/?q=node/46949)
MushHole horror (http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2008/10/23/mushhole-horror)
Mush Hole Remembered (https://uwaterloo.ca/indigenization-strategy/events/mush-hole-remembered)