Our Mother(s) Tongue
These haunting works are part of a series titled, 'Our Mother(s) Tongue', that recalls kinship, tradition,language and language loss. These visceral photos of Blackburns own family members' tongues and mouths- thresholds between interior and exterior- are punctured using pins to form Dene syllabics and shadowed on the reverse by representations of Dene language, floral motifs and absence. Representing a violence that penetrates the body and spirit, this work highlights the impact of Canada's Residential Schools on Indigenous individuals, families and communities. Personal and political, Blackburn’s beautifully crafted works memorialize, record, and reclaim histories and cultural practices that colonialism attempts to erase.