Sisters (2017) was technically my test piece for Untitled (Resilience) (2016-17). I began beading the red flowers in an attempt to see how the black velvet would interact with the beads and antler. After experimenting with this piece, I set it aside and began to work on Untitled (Resilience) for YVR. After the completion of Untitled (Resilience), I decided to finish Sisters.
I cut the old floral pattern I did before and began a new. I loved the flow and patterning I eventually chose for the new work. I received the antlers from Dwayne, a Northern Tutchone member of White River First Nation. The antlers were fresh and still a light tan brown, they were not washed out from the sun. I placed the beadwork onto the antlers before adding a mount.
Sisters was briefly shown at the 2017 Adaka Cultural Festival in Whitehorse, Yukon in the Gallery but marked “not for sale” because of the lack of mount.
I reached out to Northfork Taxidermy in Whitehorse, Yukon for assistance. Artist and taxidermist, Cindy Klippenstein, was very helpful and made a beautiful circular backing for the antlers. The one thing I instructed her to keep was the tuft of fur on the top of the skull.
Sisters is the sister piece to Untitled (Resilience), reflecting upon the importance of resilience of Indigenous woman and the protection sisters feel when united. I do not have any biological sisters but I consider my closest friends, both Indigenous and non-, my kin and my sisters.
The piece will be included in an exhibition this summer, soon to be announced, for sale. I’ve grown a love for creating large artworks such as this. Although the beadwork can take months to complete, the pieces are eye-catching in a grandiose scale.