But there's no scar?
'....I stand back and admire my work from all directions. At different angles the beads sparkle in shades of red, purple, blue and green. This beaded galaxy of colour forms a bruise. It’s colour and shape made apparent against the cream coloured deer hide of which it is applied to, the hide light in colour having never been kissed by smoke. The direction of beads twist and turn in application with every third bead being tacked down, reinforced.'
-guest blogger Catherine Blackburn//tea&bannock/full post
Bodies and Homelands
This work speaks to the complexities of memory, history and identity inspired by my own family, feelings and experiences. Within this framework of personal narrative, I situate my own body as a conduit to explore Indigenous experience and realities. Through the creation of ‘Rorschach’ test-like images, I reference the processes in which trauma and pain is perceived, analyzed, documented and medicated through 2 separate ideologies; scientific-based western medicine vs. cultural Indigenous forms of medicine and healing practices. I explore the very definition of Rorschach testing which is:
'a psychological test in which a subjects' perceptions of ink blots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both.’
Through a clinical approach, I present 2 varying perspectives. Perspectives open to interpretation but contradictory in that they are already formulated through experience. The photo containing the disconnected braids from the body demonstrates assault and trauma. These wounds are not repairable via scientific based medicine.
The other photo containing the braids still connected to the body, fusing together in the center of the frame, is a reference to healing strength. This healing comes from understanding that these atrocities to the mind, body and spirit were transgressions, and that these assaults are not defining. This healing medicine is born FROM the land and through our connections TO the land.
By referencing the body as a ‘border’, I explore physical, emotional and spiritual assault. The beaded bruise on my body remains a constant, speaking to pain, while simultaneously speaking to strength. Through categorizing and analyzing trauma, I separate the ways in which we perceive, understand and define pain but also how society marginalizes collective bodies and generalizes Indigenous experience.