I am a visual artist and plant scientist of Métis descent. I combine plant material, women’s traditional handwork and high-resolution digital tools to create art that showcases my family’s Métis heritage and honours plants as the basis of life on earth.
My French ancestors were two of the first 300 colonists to arrive in Tiohtiá:ke (now Montréal) in the 1640s. My First Nations ancestors were women who formed unions with French ‘coureurs de bois’ and ‘voyageurs’ as they pushed west in search of furs. My Métis ancestors helped found the first Métis Nation in the Red River district of what is now Manitoba.
I became fascinated with the order, beauty and life-cycles of the natural world at a young age, trekking across the Saskatchewan prairie with my naturalist mother. This fascination grew into a passion for healing with herbs, harvesting wild plants for food and cultivating large-scale gardens. I became a plant scientist. Later, I set up a studio and began using the repeat patterns in nature to create a visual language based on historically important plants. I became an artist. Today, when I collect, sort and then ‘preserve’ plants as digital images, I re-enact my family’s seasonal harvesting rituals. When I use these images to make art, I salvage pieces of our family history and address broader issues such as the environment and Indigenous rights in 21st-century Canada.
Over the years, my work has been shown in both Canada and the USA, and is held by collectors in Montréal, Toronto, Saskatoon, Calgary and Strasbourg (France).