Monday, July 31, 2017

Métis Fear 287

Image result for water buffalo of drugs
Métis Fear 287: Not sure I can add anything to this one.  A totally new fear to contemplate.

"Who needs culture when you ain't got a house?" Cris Derkson

"Who needs culture when you ain't got a house?" Cris Derkson - MacBerger 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Métis Fear 286

Métis Fear 286: I worry that the animal relations are loosing touch with their natural instincts and relying on google to help them understand their world.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Fox dressed for summer

Fox dresses for summer - Macberger 2017

"There wasn't even a black pencil crayon...."

"There wasn't even a black pencil crayon...." - MacBerger 2017

This weekend we went to the new Canadian and indigenous collection at the National Art Gallery.  For all the previous talk about how innovative this work was, I was very dissapointed.  There was one room where the only change was the addition of a discplay case with two beaded items.  In another secttion they used a picture of the same piece twice not 100 feet apart like there was nothing else they could display from indigenous art.  The thing that really got Qrow and I was the room with the really early indignous pices where they had tried.  The 1000 year old petroglyph had an abalone shell nearby with some sage in it, but the room itself is the first one to get into that part of the gallery and it is busy and noisy with people coming and going.  It did not really provide a good space for these very early objects and did not create a space for contemplation.  Qrow also noted that the music from the church space came over and floated in as a kind of aural colonialism.  Joel toured the rest of the exhibit and said that they had brought more in more indigneous artists into the modern gallery.  We also noted that there was no aditional context provided in the parts of the gallery diplaying europeaen art portraying indigenous peoples.  I really expected more from this update and I was really dissapointed and angry that even when such a simple moment of reconcilliation was a failure.  Thus when I could not even find the black pencil crayon in their art box in order to create a piece on how i was feeling, it seemed like a poetic end to the whole visit.  They did not have what i wanted or support the artistic expression i wanted to see.  Thus I created, sans black pencil crayon, this prehisotric dissapointment fish.

Métis Fear 283

G.D'Annunzio, Il Piacere " Voglio che tu beva il mio tè. Sentirai , il profumo ti arriverà all'anima " Parlava di un tè prezioso, giuntole da Calcutta...Un profumo acuto  si spargeva nell'aria...Ella versò in una tazza la bevanda e l'offerse ad Andrea, con un sorriso misterioso. Egli rifiutò " non voglio berlo in tazza ma da te "... " Ora prendi un bel sorso"...Maria, teneva le labbra serrate, per contenerlo... E Andrea la baciò, suggendo da essa tutto il sorso"...
Métis Fear 283: the fancy coffee trend is getting out of control.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Métis Fear 285

I love this artist's Audrey hats series.  "Rabbits With Bad Habits" 48 x 48
?Rabbits With Bad Habits" sarah ashley longshore
Métis Fear 285: I worry I have not been sufficiently exposing my animal relatives to the chic and elegant lifestyle they could be having by being hat props.

Métis Fear 282

Edmund Dulac-Gerda and Bae the Reindeer
Métis Fear 282: I worry that my relatives might not be enjoying my kisses as much as I thought.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Métis Fear 281

Turtle Race (mini print). $7.00, via Etsy.
Turtle Race (mini print). $7.00, via Etsy
Métis Fear 281: Not only have I been missing out on slug parcour, but I have not been following the turtle racing circuit.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Métis Fear 279

No automatic alt text available.
Renata Liwska
Métis Fear 279: I worry that the path of decolonization does not come with an instruction guide.

Métis Fear 280

vishnyaobukhova instagram
Métis Fear 280: I fear I will never be as happy and in the moment as this little lamb.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Métis Fear 276

Carrot of Shame.
Métis Fear 276: I worry about the shame of this badger.  Let go of those colonial messages little brother and find your place in the circle.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Creations for Continuity
I was very lucky to be able to take a class with Caroline Blechert from Creations for Continuity I was able to make two pairs of earrings and I learned how to work with porcupine quills.  I was struck again by the power of sitting with a group of women creating.  It was a wonderful morning and if you get a chance to do a workshop with her make sure to take it.

Métis Fear 275

Moose Moose (1999) by Richard Hunt, Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwagiulth) artist
Métis Fear 275: I fear that no one has stopped to give this moose directions to the gallery and he is too shy to ask.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Métis Fear 274

Métis Fear 274: I fear that I may have too many days like this.

Métis in the City realness

The concept of "realness" comes to me from drag culture.  It is the ability to pass for whatever you are trying for - chic business woman, fabulous unicorn etcetera.  I am trying to take more pictures of myself and appreciate all the lovely things I have in my life.  This morning I thought I was totally bringing the Métis in the City realness.  I have a fascinator with feathers, some buffalo earrings and a sealskin and metal necklace I made from bits of sealskin a friend gifted me.  What do you think?  Am I passing?  What is your Métis realness?

Being Mother Bear

"Being Mother Bear" - MacBerger 2017
Having children often pushes you out of your comfort zone.  I had one of those moments recently as I took Qrow and their friend to a group for LGBTQ teens.  It was a blessing at the end to see how happy they were to be in an accepting space where they did not have to feel judged, but it felt like a big leap for me as a parent.  I guess it makes things more real - plus I don't like new things anyway, but when I texted Joel he reminded me to be a "strong mother bear".

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Surprize! Miro didn't understand me

"Surprize! Miro didn't understand me" - MacBerger 2017
Planning my next tattoo I came across a bunch of pictures by Miro.  I remember seeing his work at 18 and thinking it was weird.  I guess we will just never see eye to eye.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Métis Fear 273

Leonora Carrington, 'Badger's Burrow,' 1989, Gallery Jones
Leonora Carrington, 'Badger's Burrow,' 1989,
Métis Fear 273: I worry that badgers are getting lured into higher level physics.

"Expanding Knowledge Through Dreaming, Wampum and Visual Arts"

Sometimes you start reading something and you just know it is going to speak to you.  The article "Expanding Knowledge Through Dreaming, Wampum and Visual Arts"  by Dawn Marsden was like that for me.  I started out sure that here was learning contained inside.  It started with a lovely prayer, leading us to the right mindset to read this paper and also giving us a sense of the writer and how they ground themselves.  I really appreciated that.

From this start, the article discusses the role of dreaming and how this way of learning should be integrated into the research process.  Marsden uses the concept of convergence from counseling theory where knowledge is formed from information that comes together from a variety of sources.  She extends this way of knowing into her research paradigm by focusing on the relational aspects of how information from different areas come together to produce knowledge.  She contrasts this with
quantitative validity, where validity is determined by a critical mass of believers.

She extends this concepts to encompass three relational domains that are the basis for validating knowledge, the personal, internal and external.  Knowledge is tested by experiencing and questioning the resonance of the knowledge received with the base of knowledge that is already known from previous experiences in each of these domains.  This creates a space to resist the dominance of knowledge from texts.  All knowledge meets in the same space.  As an example she refers us to the Elders where there is a life of inclusion and connection.  I have personally seen this many times where Elders move easily between their "professional" and spiritual knowing.

Marsden shares her experience in starting her PHD and feeling like she was coming out and exposing herself by asserting an indigenous world view in that space.  I can sympathize with that feeling.  Each time I bring a story or an indigenous way to the office it feels exposed.  It is not the "Rational"  or "business" way.  But from my experience I have seen over and over the power for both for me and for others in bringing teachings into these spaces, .  For me, this process is an important part of reconciliation.  We are still here.  We are not a quaint echo of the past, but a vibrant source of solutions for our joint future.

During the same period, external to school, she was spending time talking about beads and their role in telling stories, demonstrating community solidarity and in recording agreements.  In a dream, she was shown how the Wampum could be a model for a research methodology which could show the links between past, present and future as well as community, academia and self.

She describes it as "a Wampum Research Model which wove together significant and complex strands of influence and relationships within my research".  The top row of beads represent the messages of academia, the middle is community and the bottom is the self.  The intermediary beads, in black, are "the research questions which change according to the language most preferred at each stage."  The black beads give the structure, pulling the bracelet together and connecting all the knowledge.  These can also be thought of as the questions that get posed prior to the next iteration of the pattern.  The paper explains the model with an example, highlighting the increasing precision and integration of the thinking as the pattern is reproduced. 

After I read the article, I worked through my own question using this methodology and found it a very helpful way to think about an issue.  I was able to tease out different strands and see how they were influencing each other.  I adapted to model so that the three levels were personal, family and community/work.  I felt like this model helped me to achieve a greater understanding of the issue and was also a useful visual reminder of the thinking process.  .

Marsden notes that the creation of the wampum reflects the sharing that goes on in the research relationship and that a representation (bracelet) could be shared with those who were working together as a reminder of the relationship created and the implied shared meaning.  Continual wearing of the wampum could also be an invitation to further ponder the positives and negatives of the patterns being developed.

She finishes by asking us to remember the long relationship between beads and humans and some of the ways these have been used to connect to knowing and being, such as the use of beads for prayers.  She notes that, "if we can re-integrate Wampum and other beading and weaving tools back into our institutions of knowledge, and into our psyches, we will be well on our way back to rebalancing who we are as human beings."  This statement strongly resonates with me.  Both as a theme I have explored many times on this blog, but also as a marker of our slow awakening to the value of women's hand work and recognition that it contains knowledge and teachings while also being a link to our ancestors and those yet to come. 

Marsden finishes by speaking again about how dreaming can help us gain perspectives on our lives that are beyond our current comprehension.  She finishes by challenging us to create intellectual spaces in academic institutions for, " re-validating and restoring these ancient tools, these holistic processes, especially in fields edging into qualitative research where the boundaries and laws of the physical world do not apply.  Reduction of our humanity into concrete categories, through isolated observations, does not produce a knowledge base founded on the reality of our holistic human condition."  I am an economist and I love my quantitative models, but, I know these are not real and  real people needs something else.  I really appreciated how this wampum model brought together rigorous thought with a space to recognize that we are humans acting in particular spaces and shaped by many influences. 

I am thankful that Dawn Marsden shared her knowledge and these teachings.  I am excited to apply this model to my work and life.  I am reminded that I need  to listen more closely to my dreams.  Sometimes sleep becomes just a lost time of productivity,y but I am going to try and value it as a space of knowing .