Gentle Whispers

Submitted by: Marcy Friesen

Materials: Bead soup consists of a large variety of beads, pellon, beading thread, felt, 2 arctic fox tails.

As I created this mask I thought about family, we were all under one roof again as schools and colleges were closed. I beaded 5 flowers in red representing the 5 members of our family and red being my late Grandmothers favorite color. The vines represent life, change and unpredictability as we make our way through these ever changing unpredictable days. I decided to make a beautiful white bead soup with nutrient rich red berries to finish up the mask. The bead soup represents all the people in our lives that have helped us along the way, and even though they are not with us now they are not forgotten or less cared. The arctic fox tails add a gorgous softness that reminded me to be gentle to others and myself during these times. I also thought about grocery shopping and how quiet and stressful this time had become, we are not to visit so we whisper quietly as we quickly get what we need then head home. Back to safety.

I was born in 1974 in Nipawin Saskatchewan, Canada of Swampy Cree and Welsh ancestry. I was raised in Carrot River Saskatchewan, Canada.

As a child growing up I saw my cousin loom beading. I was fascinated and ended up making myself a bead loom with a 2×4 and some finishing nails. I threaded my loom and began to create.
Throughout my life I have been influence by the strong independent women in my family. My maternal Granny was a bead artist and my paternal Grandmother was a collector of bead art. So it seemed wherever I was I noticed and loved bead art.

I started my business Trapline Creations five years ago. Now I am operating it full time making moccasins, mitts, gauntlets, hats and jewelry using beads, leather and wild fur. I am currently selling my art through my Facebook page, Instagram, The Remai Modern Art and Design store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, the Wanuskewin Gift store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, On The Avenue Gallery in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, the Fort McMurray Heritage Society, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, and in the Art on Main Gallery in Nipawin Saskatchewan, Canada.
I have always felt the need to create using my mind and my hands. I am now taking some time to explore another side of my work using materials I love. Thinking about ways I can convey my new ideas using beads, leather and fur in new ways is exciting and freeing.

This mask was created for the Breathe community Facebook group – A collection of traditionally crafted masks demonstrating resiliency through 21st century pandemic.