Categories
United States

Handmade traditional mask

Submitted by: Harold weasel tail Garcia from the land of many wives Utah

Materials: Using smoked hide traditionally hand scrape and hand soft elk hide with French sequins in traditional seed beads

My name is Harold weasel tail Garcia of the Navajo Nation…. From the land of many wives salt lake City Utah., Just trying to keep up with my tradition using traditional material

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

Categories
United States

Roses Have Thorns

Submitted by: Anita Lyte Williams

Materials: Black damask of stylized woven roses, embroidered commercial appliqué of roses with leafs, assorted beads and Druze rock slices, miscellaneous further embellishments.

I remembered I had this rose ‘applique’ which I purchased ages ago for a reason that now escapes me! The black background fabric is a gorgeous piece of black on black damask in stylized roses.

As I begin to formulate my ideas, I also let my materials talk to me. My approach is rather acidic and sardonic…softened by the use of beautiful beads, for life is full of irony, isn’t it?

The roses represent all that was expected, accepted, familiar, and usual in our lives before we were jerked into this new reality…but also, as a living plant, a source of oxygen for us to breathe.

I wanted something alien and harsh to finish my approach. These ringed druzi stones were perfect. As I added beads to them, I wanted to tell the story of these harsh, sharp ‘alien’ forms that appear mild upon entering our body, only to suddenly turn into vicious wild attack dogs as they move down into our lungs, eating up prized healthy lung tissue as they rapidly multiply. I hope they illustrate my anger at what they do to us…this interruption of all our lives.

Red beads show the blood flow through our lungs, and the destruction that occurs, while the mixture of dull colored beads represent the chaotic rampage of the invading virus.

I needed to get this angst out of my head, out of my system, and am thankful I have art as my vehicle. I’m gluing the pieces on as fine sewing and beading are out of my league anymore with these old hands and eyes. It will work and serve its purpose. And now, it is finished…..

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

Please add your completed masks into this album. We welcome you to add a description of some of your thoughts around completing your mask during this challenging time.

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Categories
Canada

“Together Forever”

Submitted by: Andrea Rhodes

Materials:

“Together Forever”

Written in Michif, the first language of both my grandparents

The left side of this mask represents my grandfather, who had a love of nature and a powerful zest for life. I wanted to honor his fight with vascular dementia with a Forget Me Not. In his final months he could not remember who we were, but he knew he loved us and told us so. Eventually he forgot how to speak English and spoke only in Michif until he didn’t speak anymore. He left for the sky world August 2019. His love for my grandmother could move mountains.

The right side of this mask represents my grandmother, who loves harder than any person I know. Her prayers, support and advise have gotten us through the hardest of times. She is our matriarch. She is currently fighting her third bout of a very aggressive breast cancer. She put off any treatments last year to care for my grandfather. I wanted to honor her fight with a pink cancer ribbon.

Together the mask shows their life together. Red for love and happiness, green to show endurance and to represent mother earth who eventually brings all her children home. Braided 4 colours for our mixed/ Metis heritage. The heart beat stitch shows that love exists even when one of us is here and the other is not.

Manitoba, Canada

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

Feel free to visit our Breathe. community group on Facebook to see the full collection of talented artists and their creations during this pandemic.

Categories
Canada

Pandemic Vogue

Submitted by: Nathalie Bertin

Materials: Mask made of velvet, glass and hematite beads, ribbon

Pandemic Vogue (2020), Nathalie Bertin

In a mock ad meant to look like a page out of Vogue magazine, I explored the concept of vanity which ultimately led me to reflect on privilege. This custom made, designed and beaded mask is based on the tattoo designs on my arm. This mask is all about me, to protect me and others from me. The designs on my tattoos are based on traditional beadwork designs. In a sense, the designs have come full circle – from beadwork on a traditional garment, to my tattoos and back to beadwork on a contemporary article for me to wear.

As I worked on the mask, I had heard or read someone asking what it would take to normalize wearing masks so that everyone would finally wear one. I also found it interesting that couturier Yves St Laurent was making masks for the front lines. I wondered if they put their logo on the masks. I also wondered when we might see Dolce & Gabana or Channel ads for masks or models wearing some masks on runways. I chose to create a mock ad for my mask as a way to try to answer the question of how these masks could become normalized.

However the bigger question is whether it could ever be a normal thing to wear a mask on a day-to-day basis. And normalized for whom? There is often-violent history against women who chose to wear a Niqab, even here in friendly Canada. Many non-Muslim people of colour who might want to wear a mask may not do so for fear that they may be mistaken for a criminal. Therefore, is it really possible for us? Is our society ready to embrace the normalization of the wearing of masks or is it only for a certain group of people?

Credits:
Photo: Fred Exelby
Tattoos: Corben Matsell-Savage, Reactive Ink
Bracelet: Jennifer Younger

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

Please add your completed masks into this album. We welcome you to add a description of some of your thoughts around completing your mask during this challenging time.

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Categories
Canada

Be Well 2020

Submitted by: Lisa Shepherd, Métis Artist

Materials:

When I visited the lands of my great grandmothers, a few years ago, I learned about the beaded whimsies that the Haudenosaunee women created to sell to the tourists around Niagra Falls. My favourite pieces were the three dimensional canoes with “Fast Boat” beaded on their sides. I imagined they might have been designed with the idea of the tourists purchasing them to take home to their children. The whimsies often had the date and place beaded on them. As I turned over a whimsie in my hand, reading the place and date, I thought about the message through time that our Ancestors had left us. How they had marked their place in time.

As I created this mask, I thought about this place and time that we are in today. What story will our masks tell 100 years from now? A story not of self-preservation, but preservation of each other. That is my hope. When we wear a mask, it doesn’t protect us from getting sick but reduces the risk of breathing out sickness onto others. 

Everything changes this year. The air is more clear and the animals get a rest from so many people milling about, but at what cost? There is too much loss of life and suffering alone. 

How will this time and place be remembered?

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

Be Well 2020When I visited the lands of my great grandmothers, a few years ago, I learned about the beaded whimsies…

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Saturday, April 18, 2020
Categories
Canada

MMIWG

Submitted by: Nichole M. Leveck

Materials: Fabric from my first jingle dress in 2014. Bridal satin and red velvet are the fabrics used.

This mask was made after finding fabrics from my first jingle dress made back in 2014 to heal from a rare heart condition I was diagnosed with that year.
After the recent invasion of Wet’suwet’en and the continuation of the pipe line construction and man camps during this global quarantine; the awareness of our murdered and missing women and girls is vital even more right now.
This mask was made to honour those lost and to bring awareness to the threat our community faces and have been facing since colonialism.

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

Categories
Canada

How Much?

Submitted by: Lisa Shepherd, Metis Artist

Materials: Smoke tanned deer hide, glass beads, cone jingles

Covid19 pandemic first shows itself locally with the emptying of stores. Only social media is well stocked, of images of empty shelves. Supply and demand brings opportunity for the ethically-devoid few who buy up pallets of hand sanitizer, N95 masks and other essential medical supplies to sell on Amazon at 400% margin. Healthcare and emergency workers are forced to reuse personal protective equipment and risk their lives to save our loved ones.

After two weeks of nothing – no sewing, no creating – I crack open my chest and begin to weed through the juxtaposition of all that is happening. Heart fully exposed.

Through all, the birds can be heard more clearly than before. The air is crisp and clean. No traffic sounds. There are sightings of animals where people no longer monopolize space. Bit by bit, the inspiration to create returns.

I wonder, when we get through this, will we be better than before? Will we have learned what is truly important? Is this hope?

I post my art mask. Private messages. Lacking introduction. Two words.

How much?

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

Covid19 pandemic first shows itself locally with the emptying of stores. Only social media is well stocked, of images of…

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Categories
Canada

Wahkohtowin / Everything is Related

Submitted by: Lisa Shepherd, Métis Artist

Materials: Velveteen, glass beads, cone jingles, hand-tied tassels, ribbon, kohkom print cotton lining.

I thought about our interconnectedness. To each other. To nature. The animals, the plants, the sky, the earth, the water and all the people.

Our family has been escaping to the forest when we can and making offerings to the water. It’s a time of feeling small but, with that, also a release of so much that we carry every day. There is a strange comfort that comes with loss of control. Okay, so here we are. Isolating, and at the same time realizing the deep need that we have for each other. For connection to each other and to all living beings.

I worked through so many thoughts as I stitched this mask. It was like untangling thread. Frustrating at times, but necessary in order to move forward with creating. Like many other artists I’ve read about, I took a good two weeks of being entirely unproductive at the start of this pandemic hitting our part of the world. Then, one day, I realized how much I was grieving normalcy. Had it really been only two weeks prior that I was sitting with students at a high school, all talking about spring break plans? How fast that changed! With naming the grief, my inspiration and desire to create came back again.

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

I worked through so many thoughts as I stitched this mask. It was like untangling thread. Frustrating at times, but…

Posted by Lisa Shepherd on Wednesday, April 8, 2020