'for hambone, metis billy stick' - seed beads, brain tanned hide, leather, wood, acrylic paint, chain.
I have been a witness to Audie’s practice of slowness and deliberation, adornment, and creation. I have sat with Audie in process, have watched her secure beads on the leather sheath of the billy stick, have understood just how much time and effort is needed to sustain this type of labour. It is the slowness of this love-filled labour that brings us closer to our ancestors. Within the stillness, they visit us. Within the stillness, our minds rupture out of body and we dance with our expansiveness. I could feel the love that Audie has for her ancestors when I sat beside her in stillness. When I look at the finished works, I can see this love reflected so tangibly back at her from her ancestors. Weaving memory into object, love into adornment, past, present and future into a moment, Audie reminds me that we have always created art that disrupts linear time in order to be in dialogue with our ancestors and the great beyond. To move slowly is to let structured time fall off our bodies. To move slowly is to dance with our ancestors and the places we come from. To move slowly is to visit many places and people all at once, creating worlds in alignment with all that we come from and all that we are.
Audie reminds me that we have always created art that disrupts linear time in order to be in dialogue with our ancestors and the great beyond.
"Time gloves" detail - seed beads, bugle beads, horsehair, photo credit: Isaac Forsland.
Audie’s hands have suspended time in order to bring these worlds together for us. Beading, weaving, and sewing have always been simultaneously utilitarian, aesthetic and spiritual practices that are sustained through the labour of careful and loving hands. Audie’s hands have been guided so deliberately by her watchful ancestors and family. When I engage with this body of work, I am so grateful for Audie’s hands. Audie’s hands have disrupted linear time. Audie’s hands have met the guidance of her ancestors and family. Audie’s hands reach for her community. Audie’s hands have marked mine, opening them with tiny holes threaded with the love and light of both of our ancestors. And so, I am thinking about her hands so carefully holding mine and all that she has learnt in order to mark my hands. I am thinking about her hands reaching for her ancestors’ and all the prayers and laughter that went into sustaining this embrace. I am thinking about her hands so skillfully building worlds and all the labour that went into the construction of this future. I think about all that she has gone through, all of the weight of dark histories carried in body, all of the pain and struggle of the ones we love who came before us, all of the moments of sweet stillness and precious dialogue, all of the slowness required for this deep remembrance in body and heart that has allowed Audie to build such beautiful worlds for us.