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Artist Statement - Beyond!, Beyond!
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Textile Installation, Variable Dimensions, Created 2017-present.

         As an artist of Denesuline, Saulteaux, Irish, Ukrainian, and Welsh descent, I am interested in art’s capacity to advance the wellbeing for the Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike.  


         In the film Hands of History (1994), artist Doreen Jensen states, “art is anything made with love” (Todd, 1994).  This statement profoundly resonates with my admiration for all the positive energies that my late grandmothers put into their creations particularly in quilting.  


        Star blankets are beautiful and meaningful creations within nearly all North American Indigenous communities.  I strategically employ the radiance of this widespread star form to speak for greater diplomacy between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.  According to scholar Leroy Little Bear, it is the discord between worldviews that creates many current difficulties in North America (Little Bear, 2000: 85), and my artworks challenges us all to move beyond such limitations. 


        Beyond!, Beyond!’s star form exists in 4 parts to represent the body, mind, spirit, and emotion which are held together with stitches that resemble medical sutures.  These stitches embody the healing accomplished by myself, and my Indigenous brothers and sisters worldwide.  This does not mean that I speak for them, but I was conscious of their many pleas for healing for all of creation throughout the making of this artwork.  While my creation mirrors many of my realities as an Indigenous woman, the recognition of healing is for the non-Indigenous also. 

         The recent announcements of unjust decisions in the cases of Tina Fontaine and Colten Boushie have brought much concern to my life and to the greater Indigenous community.  This artwork encourages a movement for people to hold greater respect each other as we all move beyond our pain and fear-based experiences and inheritances.  Beyond!, Beyond! has a calm visuality that actualizes a space where all of creation exists in a pure liberation, while inviting all the pertinent conversations that will manifest this into our everyday realities. 

Jill Janvier, 2018.

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