Berna Matto

South Slave
Fort Providence

Artist Story

Art to me is something passed down from my mother, not just for me but all of my family. I take a lot of care when creating new pieces, even taking them apart and remaking them if I don’t like how the colors, or the pattern is working out. One of my biggest motivations though, is just seeing the reaction in other people when they look at my work.

I was born in Fort Providence, originally the Beaver Lake area. I create traditional beadwork on moose hide and other materials, but sometimes incorporate non-traditional designs as well. I picked up the skill from watching my mother and sisters work, and practiced from there. I find it fun to pick the beads out, and then watch the outcome of the project as it unfolds - like noticing the colors that really pop when it’s completed.

Most of my pieces are fully beaded designs; I don’t only do the pattern, but fill in the rest of the blank space with beads as well. It takes quite a bit longer, but I really like how they turn out. The larger pieces I do are belts and guitar straps, but they’re also fully beaded like most of my smaller items. I’m always looking for interesting and challenging patterns, not just the smaller designs.

Last Updated: September 6, 2018

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