This was only the first time we visited Gordon at his shop the second time was with the gracious organizer extraordinaire of Indigenous Ink Terry Klavenes a Tongan tattoo artists who is working at bringing the motifs and designs from his Tongan heritage into his tattoo work.
During our second visit we happened to be there during the raising of Gordon’s new sign outside of his shop, which warranted an impromptu celebration that included some of New Zealand seafood. One of these “delicacies” is Kina, which are sea urchin eggs, I tried them once and that will be the only time I put these in my mouth. After trying a few of the things offered I thoroughly enjoyed my order of fish and chips.
In Ottawa Ontario, Canada from October 31st to November 28th at Gallery 101, an art exhibition curated by Cheryl L’Hirondelle entitled, “Owning With the Gaze” featured works by Millie Chen, Leah Decter, Stephen Foster, Ayumi Goto, Suzanne Morrissette, Lisa Myers and myself. At the opening of this exhibition on October 31st I performed my first “Earth line tattooing action” from 6-10pm. This blog post will outline where the idea for this performance emerged and share some of my thoughts, feelings, emotions and insights that have come to my consciousness since that date a little over a month ago.
The art of skin stitch tattooing is one my ancestors practiced for generations and it is coming back to life one stitch at a time, here is a short video documenting me sewing a tattoo on a friend of mine Cody. Enjoy and stay tuned for more videos and more posts.
Check out Lars Krutak’s TED Talk, he does an amazing job outlining the importance of Indigenous tattoo knowledge and the need to document your nations tattooing practices. I am honoured to have been mentioned during this presentation and am thankful for the work that he has done and continues to do.
One of the greatest gifts I have been given by the creator is the gift of tattooing, and with that gift I also have a responsibility to share it. This is a video documenting the revival of Nlaka’pamux skin stitch tattooing. The top design incorporates an earth line and trees, and the lower design is a river and its banks. The earth line is a motif that was commonly found on our upper garments. For me the earth line is a constant reminder of our relationship to, and the dependence on, the earth and all that is. Being reminded, in that moment our responsibility to this world bubbles to the surface of our consciousness. The earthline is there to bring us all back to our Indigeneity (living in a sustainable way). Check it out!
Here is a short video I edited of the video captured during a hand poke tattoo session with my friend Cheryl L’Hirondelle the beautiful singing was recorded during the process of this tattoo, it was amazing to hear Cheryl sing as we tattooed. I would like to thank my friend Jordan Bennett for taking the time to operate the camera and recording the audio. I will be continuing to edit short videos similar to this one in coming months.
I have finally finished editing my short documentary Indigenous Ink, I created this in one of my classes, in it I talk with friends and family about their tattoos, sometimes while we are in the process of tattooing. I plan on doing a few more of these type of projects in the future. Enjoy
I am just starting to update this blog with some of the work I have been doing since I started my masters degree at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. This is a teaser trailer for a mini doc I produced as part of the class “Digital Filmmaking for activists and scholars”. It was the first time I did any sort of video editing, recording of interviews etc. I am cleaning up the final project and will be posting it within the next few weeks.
These are pictures of me hand tattooing my first Nlaka’pamux hand tattoo on someone other than myself, this is so awesome. The tattoo design was inspired by the pictographs of the Stein Valley which i will be visiting next week and photographing as many pictographs as possible.