Land art installation, Grey Eagle Hotel, Tsuut'ina Treaty 7, 2017.
Photo credit: Soloman Chiniquay
“As long as the sun shines, the grass grows and the waters flow…” Borders and limitations are not only physical, but can be mental as well. When we consider each other’s truths and (his)stories with an open mind, only then can we better understand and love one another fully.
Remembering the Land as our Mother, it is not we who have ownership over her, but she over us as her children. We often forget that it is our responsibility to give back as much as we take.
Through a non-invasive, silent, process-based performance, the creation of an impermanent installation will be formed in representation of our unique human responsibility to future generations of plants, animals, people, and the Land.
Taking inspiration from the Making Treaty 7: Common Ground Dinner Series discussions, a "Statement of Hope" was created for Borders (one of eight sub-topics including: Energy, Medicine, Agriculture, Education, Culture + Tourism, Law, and Safety) which influenced this Untitled work: “Together, our shared hope for the future of the Land and Borders is….
What connects us, our common humanity, our love for each other, for the land, for our common future permits us to eliminate the borders, the fences, the differences that only serve to divide us from each other and from Mother Earth.”
Between Land, Water and Air
13 willow drum frame, hand-made paper and medicines, oak leaves, duck feathers, UN Declaration on the Rights for Indigenous Peoples' Articles 1, 8, 11.1, 12.1, 15.2, 17.1, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 32, 40, 2017.
Photo credit: Chelsea Yang
Commissioned by Alberta Recreation and Parks Association (ARPA) for the keynote speakers of the Canadian Parks Conference "Parks, Protected Areas, Open Spaces and Public Places" in Banff, Alberta from March 8-11, 2017.
On the inside of each drum reads: [Article _____] This fragile object which you hold in your hand is not for decorative or functional purposes. This artwork is a reminder of the responsibility we all need to uphold to the land for which we live and work on, as well as to the people, plants and animals of Turtle Island. The Articles outlined by the United Nations Declaration of Rights for Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity, well-being, and freedom of all indigenous peoples, male and female.
wooden frame, hand-made paper star, sinew, beeswax, tea bags, 2016
Photo credit: Chelsea Yang
Mythical Otherness: Otherness as Mysticism,
performance, Alberta Culture Days, Arts Commons, 2016
Photo credit: Natasha Jensen
The collaborative duo, Rose Quartz (Emma Campbell) & Acahkos Pihko (Tamara Cardinal), play on a combination of historic, contemporary and futuristic narratives that highlight dominant cultural myths/beliefs surrounding indigeneity, colonialism, femininity, queerness and the Other. Loosely referencing the “Tonto and Lone Ranger” duo, with an outwardly feminine cast, the two characters use mime, mimicry and improvisational techniques to accentuate each other’s flamboyant and eccentric traits in site specific environments. By combining historic references with futuristic fantasies the characters move through space nonlinearly, intentionally moving between scenes to recount stories of fear, domination, understanding, alienation, and utopian idealism as shifting but recurring ideologies.
Emma Campbell (Rose Quartz)
Emma is an interdisciplinary artist and community program enthusiast interested in intersectional everything. Graduating Concordia University in 2014 with a degree in Painting and Drawing / Sustainability Studies, she now works in Public Programs at the Banff Centre. Her practice involves random analogue methods of documentation, the exploration of selfhood and othering through gender, drag, performance, and more recently the histories and mythologies of the Bow Valley and Banff National Park.
Mostaskamikaw: As the Snow melts, the Earth appears,
Performance, Where's Next?: Creative Arts Symposium, Alberta College of Art + Design, 2016
Photo credit: Natalia Barberis
In response to a rejected proposal made to the Alberta Government in 2014 requesting to plant sweetgrass in an unoccupied/unkept plot of land, fenced off from a hospice, this work stands as testament to the mental division between Indigenous worldview and Western society. Originally stemming from a project idea which would merge the newly founded ACAD Community Garden with the recent Indigenous initiatives at the Alberta College of Art + Design, the idea carried on in this performance work to speak about political land claims versus spirituality and community engagement.
Back Into the Earth: Creation and the Interpretation of Meaning,
performance, Alberta College of Art + Design/Confederation Park, 2015
Photo credit: Adrian Hopkins
The jingle, typically made from tobacco tins, now made from unfired clay for Back Into the Earth, symbolizes a reclaiming of the Land and histories. Working within community, Tamara exchanged conversations over tea, while teaching individuals to create the form of the jingle. Each person who physically had a hand in the work left their impression in the clay as the material became the only recording of that exchange.
Throughout the dance the jingles would decay and break off the dress. Audience members were initially given one fired jingle to walk and contemplate this with. Their experience was a vital part of this piece as it touched on the social, emotional, spiritual and physical of all people.
Individuals had followed the artist in a procession from the Alberta College of Art + Design to Confederation Park. By working with Anita Crowshoe as drummer/singer and collaborator, the atmosphere of a traditional ceremony was brought into the secular urban streets. As the performers carried on, a story about restoring the connections between both human and the material worlds was told.
high-fired clay jingles, leather cord, 12 cedar planks, sinew, 2014
Photo credit: Daniel Cleghorn
From 12 slats of cedar hang 365 high-fired clay jingles, separated into their respective months according to the western calendar. In contrast, Indigenous Peoples across North America traditionally mark their days by the seasons and cycles of the moon. These jingles are most commonly known for the sound that resonates from the jingle dress in motion. This form originates after the time of colonization, when the jingles began to be formed by tin from tobacco containers. The jingle dress dance was created for healing. Now it can be found most commonly in the pow-wow circuit. The sound is an integral element of this interactive installation, as it is from the sound which one can be decolonized. This work bridges the gap between the overhanging dominant structure in today’s society with the spiritual element of the jingle, still relevant today.
You, Me & Tea (series),
acrylic glazed tea bag garments, Indspire Awards Gala, 2014
Tea has been a prominent material in Tamara’s sculptural practice for over a decade. Primarily seen to stem from the lands of Asia, and further imported into Europe, Indigenous tribes have been using tea as medicine much longer than before first contact. With a focus on her heritage and identity surrounding Tamara’s inherited Cree ancestry, the dresses highlights areas of the body from which intellect, strength, perseverance and bravery can be drawn from. Acting as a catalyst for conversation or comfort with oneself, tea stimulates sobering moments of care, nurture, love and compassion. Universally, tea is the symbol of healing, from the inside out. This material has been sourced by multiple members in community.
For Everything I Doubted,
6 foot welded steel frame, leather cord, sinew, emptied tea bags, feathers, tin jingles, 2013
In the act of looking upwards, the eye is drawn to notice a transparency of the tea bags where the contents have been emptied after initial use. As the light draws itself through the heart of the hoop, colour and shape blend together creating one cohesive whole. Bunches of leather string hang vertically from the frame representing past generations of knowledge and memories. Within Indigenous worldview it is believed that individual members of the current generation are the keys to important inherent information passed down in succession from mother to daughter. These bonds represented here stand for opportunities of wisdom.