2017 BFA Honours Thesis Installation

What My Mother Never Taught Me

I make sculpture as a means of locating my identity within the Indigenous community. I am interested in animal remains and land as material, searching for the materials of my ancestors and exploring hybridity by trading, hunting and gathering for locally sourced fur, leather, antlers and wild plants in Winnipeg, Treaty One Territory and Homeland of the Métis Nation.

Referencing Métis history my work becomes a hybrid with animal, soil and concrete, commenting on colonization and allowing a space to consider the de-colonist perspective.

In this series, I pair concrete sculptures, and their references to weight, construction, burial and monument with raw animal hide, antlers, sage and soil. This contrasts two cultures and their unification into a hybrid, one unique culture within co-existence.

Land and soil become material, as I reference controlled land access and ownership. As a Métis person, I am affected by cultural suppression and my work is to create an environment where conversation for the third space can arise, not only to acknowledge this but also to move forward. The third space is where values and tradition of two cultures can come together.

The sculptures are still, and heavily resemble burial ground. However, with the smell of sage in the air and the intimate dim lighting the viewer questions their permanence. There is a spiritual element to the work as well, almost as if the spirit of the animal resides around their remains keeping the work alive.

Special thanks for those who traded with me throughout this project, including Jakobi Heinrichs, Lauren Wiebe, Shayna Spence, James Ryan.