In the group Master of Fine Art show this year, at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, I showed two pieces: 150 and An Identity Metaphor. Both projects were made of loomed beadings. 150 was a project I completed for Nocturne’s 2017 Vanish themed art at night event. I made 150 loomed and unfinished ‘bracelets’, each depicting a number associated with an event in Indigenous history within the time of confederation. With 2017 being a celebratory year for Canada, I wanted to bring awareness to the fact that not everyone in this country was celebrating. Along with the 150 unfinished bracelets there was a beaded QR code which took the viewer to a website that acted as a decoder for the piece. Viewers were then able to walk away with the information they needed to fully engage in the piece, as well as continue reading through the source material cited at the end of each ‘event definition’.
The process of making this work was arduous, laborious and mind numbingly repetitive. At the beginning of this project I created a system. I would research ten numbers, fact check them, write them up in an excel document, and then bead them. I created a standard size for each bracelet. It was important for me that they were structured in appearance; they had to have enough beads in the row for the greatest number and the smallest number. I decided forty-five was the perfect amount of rows for the design I wanted to make. I beaded these numbers for two months. When I started a bracelet took me 45 minutes, by the end of the two-month period I managed to shave, on average, 5 minutes off; on a good day I would finish a bracelet within 35 minutes. Leanne Simpson speaks of procuring our bodies in the process of building Indigenous knowledge. She states,
“This tells us that in order to access knowledge from a Nishnaabeg perspective, we have to engage our entire bodies: our physical beings, emotional self, our spiritual energy and our intellect. Our methodologies, our lifeways must reflect those components of our being and the integration of those four components into a whole. This gives rise to our “research methodologies,” our ways of knowing, our processes for living in the world.”
It became second nature to me; I could almost watch television while doing it. It became an embodied practice, the designs came naturally to me, I knew when the bracelet was done before having to count the rows and double check that there were forty-five. This process was embedded into my body, into my movements. No longer was thought given to the construction of it, my body just knew.
 Simpson, Leanne. Dancing on our turtles back: stories of Nishnaabeg re-creation, resurgence and a new emergence. Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Pub. 2015:17.
An Identity Metaphor: this was my first time experimenting with video. I am really interested in using QR codes to transmit information to the viewer and I wanted to do this in a new way. The installation of the piece was simple. It consisted of a shelf with a reflective material that held a pile of black and white beads and string. This reflective material mirrored the QR code attached to the wall-mounted shelf. The material connection of the beaded QR code on the wall and the pile of beads and string on the shelf led viewers to connect the two. When looking from the right angle viewers would see the QR code on the wall reflected in the pile of beads on the shelf. Once the QR code was scanned viewers were led to an online video. The video started with an undoing of the QR code, cut from the sides and pulled apart. Once the entire code was unraveled it was then rebeaded. I was interested in making a video that was self-reflective, both of the piece itself but also of myself as the maker. I wanted to speak to the making of the beaded object but also of the unraveling and destruction of it. I view this piece as a metaphor for building an identity, taking the pieces you already have, cutting it up, taking out the bits that are no longer needed, rearranging them and beading them back together.