Raymond Aldred is a disabled, Métis and Cree philosopher and activist who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in philosophy at McGill University and is also an artist. His present research in philosophy amalgamates around philosophy of romantic love, but he also dabbles in topics such as indigenous philosophies, disability, sexuality, caregiving, care-receiving, bioethics, neuroethics, and more. Prior to McGill, Ray’s philosophical work explored issues around caregiving, agency, and cognitive disability. For more information, you can look at his CV.
In May of 2020, Ray suffered from a stroke, and as result of that, he currently struggles to use language. According to him, his body and mind took him in a different direction that day. He still likes to think big thoughts, but art started to become a passion for him: it was a therapy and a rehabilitation during those dark, rough, and illuminating times. Ray currently can’t use his dominate, right hand since his stroke, and he has a weaker left hand. He also uses a power wheelchair, as a result of having Muscular Dystrophy, and can not move so easily across a studio like other traditional artists. As a result of these multiple disabilities, Ray can not easily use traditional art media: pencils, actual oil paints, actual water colours, brushes, and the like. He uses a variety of digital software to paint, and for him, his strokes of digital paint are just as valid as it is for a traditional artists strokes. He is a artist, who because of his disabilities, uses technology to help him paint and do art. Is he a digital artist? Technically yes, he is, but he is also engaged with his surroundings as he paints, which much more than being entirely digital. For art by Ray you can look at his art blog and store.