Jennifer Buckley

South Slave
Hay River
Primary Art Type: 
47117 Mackenzie Hwy.
Hay River, NT X0E 0R9

Artist Story

Art is all in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and inspiration is everywhere if you really look. A lot of my own inspiration comes from family and my children, and the very first pieces I made were specifically for some of them. The art I create is done using fish scales & bones, and with my family having a long history in the fishing industry I have a lot of available materials to use.

I grew up in Hay River, Northwest Territories in the West Channel which has a long connection to the town’s fishing history. It definitely plays a role in the reason for choosing the art style. There are also very few artists that create fish-scale art, so it’s quite a unique medium. The first time I saw this style was by an artist out of Lutselk’e, and I think that might have initially sparked my interest. At first I just wanted to try it, but now it has become a very big part of my life.

Creating this type of art is very microscopic, and can take a long time to do each piece. When I’m working on them it gives me time for self-reflection, and helps build a lot of patience. I’ll often sit for hours trying to make things perfect in each piece. It’s very calming and therapeutic at the same time though. Some of the pieces I create are flowers, fish, and more recently I’m trying to branch out into various insects as well. I usually just sit down and create though, whatever happens – happens. Incorporating my children, and using their input, is definitely something that helps motivate my work.

Artist Bio: 

My name is Jennifer Buckley.  I was born and raised in the fishing village community of Hay River which is known as West Channel.  My family history has gone back generations in the fishing industry.  My whole life and family today is still surrounded in the fishing community and this closeness with 'fish' has brought me to my new found love of 'Fish Art'.  My creations are made with 100% fish products.  Nothing from a fish gets wasted as all the remnants of a fish once it has been fileted is what I use for my one of a kind art pieces.  The center of the flower is the spine (vertebrae), the stems are the bones, and the petals are the scales!  Please feel free to browse the photos on my facebook page 'Aboriginal Fish Scale Art'.  Thank you.

Last Updated: October 28, 2021

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