BLOOD MEMORY, 2018

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

Inspired by an in depth conversation with an Anishinaabe friend and mentor about Blood Memory, I created a piece that attempted to express the inexplicably emotional pull that I have to weaving - believing that it is my own way of filling the void that I feel from growing-up without grandmothers. Working with my hands is my greatest skill and it brings me the most joy. I have always been good at crafting objects and I pick-up skills quickly, effortlessly and perhaps it because it is literally in my blood?

“Blood memory is described as our ancestral (genetic) connection to our language, songs, spirituality, and teachings. It is the good feeling that we experience when we are near these things.” - Mary Annette Pember, Daily Yonder blog

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

It was only later, once the piece was hung for this exhibition that I was introduced to Viking-era Nordic Jewelry through a professor at Finlandia University and the striking resemblance of this form to necklaces that my Finnish ancestors would have likely worn.

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

Photo: Rita Farmer Photography

BLOOD MEMORY was created in 2018 with the support of a McKnight Foundation Next Step Fund from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and was included in “PERMISSION” the solo exhibition at Finlandia University Gallery in Hancock, Michigan from November 29, 2018 - February 15, 2019.