Module 1 Post 2: Re-Signifying The Traditional: Art, Earth & Birth

  1. Post One research has made me think of fashion, beading, plants and it took me back to Christ Belcourt’s work that I was introduced to by her family member back in 2011. I remember seeing Christi’s work online on her website; her carefully painted medicinal plants in beadwork style and much, much more. I couldn’t sleep that night  as I was blown away by what I saw – it was highly educational as I watched her YouTube narratives about her art and to this day I can’t articulate it in a way I would be happy with. Please see herehttp://christibelcourt.com/belcourt-shortlisted-for-premiers-award-2014/. 
  2. On this page Christi talks about ecological concerns that inspired her work The Wisdom of The Universe: ““In Ontario, over 200 species of plants and animals are listed as threatened, endangered or extinct. Of those, included in this painting are the Dwarf Lake Iris, the Eastern Prairie Fringed Orchid, the Karner Blue butterfly, the West Virginia White butterfly, the Spring Blue-eyed Mary, the Cerulean Warbler and Acadian Flycatcher…”
  3. My son was a baby #8 born at the first birthing centre here in Toronto that has just opened up in 2014. When I came to our room (called the Ash Birth Room) that wasn’t used ever before us this is what I saw of Christi Belcourt. I couldn’t believe my faith and pure joy: http://www.thestar.com/life/2014/01/22/first_look_inside_revolutionary_toronto_birth_centre.html 

See the traditional narrative behind this stunning work that is here and where elders join us: http://www.torontobirthcentre.ca/christi-belcourt/

“…The painting “What We Teach Our Children” was painted in 2008 in honour of children, inspired by my daughter Jeana who was 10 years old at the time.

Within the painting there are several important elements: bees, plants, roots, animals, the spirit world & televisions….”

This research is the third time I am brought to Christi and her artwork. I wonder where it will take me next, but it is obvious how her work  and the narratives are about resignfying the traditional in Indegenous Media. I am looking forward to learning more from the above sources and how this could be tied to my topic. Maybe an interview with the artist herself?

Ana K.

Background: 

My interest was piqued by Ginsburg, Faye D., “Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media, “ in Media Worlds: Anthropology on a New Terrain and my R. and Perkins’s work re: aboriginal filmmaking. I would like to extend this theme of Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media to other forms of art. My goal would be to further explore the relationship of technology/media that is used by indigenous peoples on their own terms and possibly without any cultural appropriation.  

I am interested in Indigenous Art a part of everyday life/being that I have witnessed while living on a First Nation community where Art is place-based, inseparable from nature, land, well-being, surrounding living beings, spirituality, narrative, healing, the artist, etc. and it situated closely within each and comes an expression of this tight interconnectedness (and as such comes within a different set of relationships than when looking at Art as a separate discipline that is to be studied). I believe that knowing about this topic more in depth would enrich me as a person and consequently, as a teacher.  

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