While I've been working on a couple of other pieces, I've also been working on two separate birch forest diptychs in tandem and I'm liking what I see so far. It really feels like a departure for me, though the process is similar to how I've been working the past two years. The previous piece I shared feels like midnight in the forest, this one feels like autumn. I like seeing references to the aboriginal history of our continent in the layers of glazing and patterns, of arrowheads and warriors, of patterns created by hand and by hand-carved stamps inspired by the pictographs and petroglyphs found in the prairies and mountains around my home.
When I was a child my home in northern Manitoba was surrounded by the boreal forest made up of pine and birch. I was taught by Cree grandmothers how to peel birch bark without damaging the tree, to create works of art by scratching into the bark and by using my teeth to create birch bark biting artworks.
This work-in-progress is my homage to the grandmothers, to the history of the north, and to the sparkling birch bark found in the forests of my childhood.