My artistic practice expresses a new generational perspective that respectfully sustains traditional skills and knowledge. My primary medium is beadwork and illustration, which has led to caribou hair tufting, quillwork, leatherwork and installation. My teachers and training come from family and community through traditionally oral and hands-on ways of life. I am part of a young generation that mobilizes Indigenous art and culture through urban subcultures like tattooing and pop. When I bead tattoo flash-inspired designs with Dene florals, I see my Setsuné’s (grandmother’s) hands at work. It is that poetic sense of identity that allows me to continue to grow and explore the cultural intersection of work in my globalized, urban setting. My work connects beyond conventional artistic boundaries. I share my vision with audiences through digital, community, and fashion platforms in an accessible and relatable way. Accessibility to younger generations is an important attribute I seek in my work.
I am a Toronto based artist. My parents are visual artists; my father is Dene from Patuanak in Northern Saskatchewan and my mother a fourth generation Canadian raised off-the-grid on Vancouver Island. I am part of the Residential School legacy, growing up with a shuffled but not disconnected understanding of who I am. At the age of 15 I visited my reserve for the first time. Off a dirt-road, in an English River First Nation rez home, my auntie expected me to help cut the meat off a moose my uncle had hunted. Being from downtown Toronto, the expectation was a culture shock and I refused. Resisting my urban teenaged reaction, my auntie sat me down and taught me to bead. There, I completed my first piece of beadwork using one of my Setsuné’s designs. The act was instantly healing, and a bond formed. This narrative resonates with many young Indigenous people and beyond; when colonization has fractured cultural connections for many.
In 2015, I invested in my bead practice full-time when my first son was born. Since I identify as a mother first, practicing my art is an act of survival, sustenance, and connection in the same way it is to carve a moose and teach one's niece to bead their Setsuné’s designs.