Hart House is grateful for the concept, design, creation and inner talent of artist Nyle Johnston. The“Ever-Evolving Alphabet’ mural is situated along the front walkway of Hart House.

  • Title: The Ever-Evolving Alphabet
  • Mural Artist: Nyle Johnston

Artist statement

This mural is a visual representation of hip hop using graffiti as the medium. It’s a modern contemporary celebration that mixes artistic concepts with visual cues. Imagery has a long history of portraying messages and narratives for Black and Indigenous people across the globe, and hip hop is a beautiful way for these communities to present new genres of art and stay connected to each other. Thousands of years ago, carving on rocks as pictographs and hieroglyphics acted as their own form of graffiti; I want to honour this continuing legacy of storytelling.

About Nyle Johnston

It is easy to forget that we are all children of Our First Mother of Creation. Examples can be found throughout nature that connects us to our First Family and Plant Nation relatives. From the flowing river systems that are our veins, to the cedar tree that is our brain stem, the patterns of connectivity are not only beautiful but also inspiring. When I draw or paint, I humble myself and try to capture a fragment of the messages, stories, instructions, teachings and beauty that Creation has to provide.

My spirit name Wiishkoonseh Miigizi'enh means Whistling White Headed Eagle. I grew up in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and I have apprenticed with Storytellers since I was young. I have a responsibility to continue this legacy for the healing of my own people while connecting to the broader world. Sources of my artistic inspiration include woodland painters, Story Tellers, and the traditions of my culture. In a time of reconciliation, it is important for all people to know that we exist and have such a strong, beautiful legacy of stories and teachings from the Anishinaabe Nation that are grounded in my experience and identity.

Our stories resonate with people across different cultures and they carry universal messages of love, kindness, fairness and care for Mother Earth.

Nyle Johnston, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.

The Ever-Evolving Alphabet