I came to the North for six months to work in a restaurant in 1976 at the tail end of the last oil boom – and just never left. I had the good fortune to find myself surrounded by artists in the Beaufort Delta and Sahtu and was honoured to learn traditional techniques of beading and sewing from elders. Formally trained as an art therapist, art has always been a part of my soul.
I was in awe of how incredibly complex their techniques were and when I started making my own art, I explored more contemporary beadwork styles. This prompted me to start creating jewellery – working with raw materials from the North such as caribou bone and antler and incorporate beadwork into the art in a multi-media way.
After about 20 years of creating artwork in this manner, I enrolled and graduated from the advanced textile program at Capilano University in Vancouver. These new skills have profoundly influenced my artwork as I predominantly work with textiles.
I like elements of recycling and the elements of surprise. Right now I’m excited by eco-dying and printing with plants that I harvest locally: arctic rose, birch and alder leaves, delphinium from my garden, and goldenrod. I am interested in contributing to making less toxic textiles by using natural materials. With all my art, I get my inspiration from the people and culture around me and of course, from nature.