August 19, 2022
Two things that you wouldn't think belong together - imposter syndrome and tipis. Yet here, they belong surprisingly well.
Most of my audience are women, so we are no stranger to imposter syndrome. In fact, I think most of us now know that it comes in different flavours, like ice cream. But it's more like stepping in shit. We smell it and go, "ahh that was dog", or nope "that was definitely human. I hope it was my toddler."
My imposter syndrome can show up anywhere and everywhere. You see, I'm indigenous. I say it loud and proud, despite that nasty little poop smell. But it doesn't totally stop it from coming through.
So, when I said that I wanted to paint a collection of paintings celebrating my Metis heritage, that smell started lingering around.
I painted this as a reminder that my people have been here since time immemorial. I've gone through my ancestry to remind myself where I come from.
When I was in Saskatchewan, I would see a tipi gracing the skyline around indigenous places. The proud tipi bravely standing in a white world is a reminder of the ancient connection to this land.
You see, indigenous people came here over 15,000 years ago from the land bridge from Asia. You can still see tipis in use with the nomadic reindeer herding tribes of Mongolia. When I see their tipis, their round cheery faces and their nomadic lifestyles I cannot help but see a small window into my own family story.
So, I began this painting with an idea to use those star trails which are created by cameras taking long exposure photographs of the night sky. They show the passage of time. I began to do that and it didn't feel right. It felt too clean. Then, I thought of the way trees measure time, with their beautiful growth rings.
This painting is all about bringing that intangible knowledge into the physical realm. It's about reminding me that I do come from this land. My ancestors are from the plains and I am from the mountains, but Turtle Island has been the home of my people since time immemorial.