The Land loves us. The Land provides our food, water, air, shelter. The Land meets the needs of our hearts, minds, and spirits.
Art Made on the Land is reciprocity – loving the Land in return. Creating these artworks, we initiate a connection with Land based on gratitude, recognition, and familial respect. We are practicing good relationship with the Land, and with each other.
We artists are Métis and non-Indigenous. Our art is made in relation with a unique landscape. This landscape is part of the Métis Homelands, a traditional River Lot on the South Saskatchewan River, dating from 1882. This landscape is part of Treaty Six, a place where Plains People have lived since time immemorial. This landscape is now held by a non-Indigenous woman.
We are guided by the principles set by a gathering of Métis historians, cultural leaders, and Old Person, Lii Vyeu, Margaret Harrison: to let the artists lead, and to make art on the Land.
We hope you will find in our art the emotion, healing, and beauty we have experienced.
Art Made on the Land
Last week in the evening after work one day, I finally stepped away from the computer, tired and bleary eyed. As my husband headed into the shower he casually noted that he'd been listening to a bird that was "singing like crazy" outside.
Curious, I stepped out onto our second floor apartment balcony and moved to the side closest to the pine tree next door, knowing that the shelter it offers makes it the favourite spot of the local sparrows. I could hear a bird trilling a bright and clear call, and my eyes searched to find the source. My gaze rose to the very top of the tree where, in the last ray of sun, a robin sat.
As I stood and listened with intent the song opened onto variegated melodies. Each refrain was unique in its utterance, though always ended with a soft squeak as the bird forced the last bit of air from its tiny lungs. It continued this way until the sun set, calling out into the world with all its might, fighting the competing sounds of the busy roadway below.
Entranced, I felt myself longing for the quiet of a calmer surroundings where the robin's song could reverberate on the wind, and be answered in kind.
Sometime later I learned that the Cree word for robin is pihpihciw, the sound of the word echoing the movement of breath and song.
We are grateful to Scoles Fine Arts & Framing for their fine framing and mounting.
Art Made on the Land was brought together by Roberta Cross.