Devin Cypher

Artist in Residence
2022/2023 Emerging Artist in Residence
Devin Cypher Quail Print

My name is Devin Cypher and I am a print and textile artist. Born and raised in the Edmonton area, I come from a mixed-race family and have spent the majority of my life in rural Alberta and the outskirts of urban areas. I’m a trans-masculine individual, and am undergoing my journey with neurodiversity and identity. I find inspiration in the land, space, and people I surround myself with.

Currently I am exploring bookmaking and experimenting with pop-up books, binding methods, and creating 3D objects using printed matter. My fascination with birds has worked its way into my work, with images of song and garden birds and research into their nesting behaviors. I find that these relate in some ways to human behavior in how we inhabit and personalize spaces, particularly in terms of comfort, security, and the sense of home. This work expands on my previous experience and love of book arts.

In addition to book arts, much of my practice is influenced by personal connections to textile crafts. Part of my artistic practice involves the embodiment of emotions and memories within textile objects and the role of art-making in wellbeing and healing. Combining printmaking and quilting techniques in a transformative and meditative process allows me to respond to materials while reflecting on my personal experiences. This reflection is related to the transfer of intergenerational knowledge and the importance of identity and self-location within the spaces we inhabit.

I use my practice to connect with intergenerational skills and traditions and adapt them to fit my contemporary experience. I respond to tradition by combining familial and new skills. Quilting specifically is a craft I’ve learned from my family. The history behind it and its traditional position as a woman’s art form allow me to engage with colonial ideas of gender roles and craft. Through my art I am able to subvert these expectations and biases as a mixed-race, trans-masculine individual. Reclaiming my identity and expressing myself through quiltwork is an integral part of my journey as an individual. Printmaking too, with its long standing history and ever-changing practice, lets me explore the complexities of craft in the past and present.

Much of my practice examines connections between people and explores those connections through tactility, relationship to materials, storytelling, and personal narratives. I strive to approach my work and my community with an open and curious mind and do my best to be continuously learning and growing with those around me.