Sisters (2017)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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