Week One of the Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency Part 1
The first two weeks of the Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency have been absolutely mind blowing as I have been able to hear the stories of the artists in attendance Dean Hunt, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Amy Malbeuf and Jordan Bennett. These two blog posts will contain a run down of the activities and some of the lessons learned and shared over the first week and another to follow outlining the second week.
The Earth Line Tattoo Training Residency is happening as part of and running concurrently with the The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive Program which is coordinated by the Creative Studies Department at the the University of British Columbia Okanagan. It is an amazing program and this year is hosting “a core group of senior artists: Rebecca Belmore, Lori Blondeau, David Garneau, and Adrian Stimson. It will also include upward of 20 visiting studio artists in residence.”
I have been working on this post about Indigenous Ink 2015 for awhile and have decided since it is so long that I will post it in sections, enjoy part one.
In November of 2015 I travelled to the Maori, Pacific and Global Indigenous Tattoo Festival (Indigenous Ink) in Aotearoa held at the Manukau Station, Auckland New Zealand. This event took place on November 20th to the 22nd and featured over 30 Indigenous tattoo artists and cultural practitioners from across the globe. As stated in the document Press Kit put out by Maori, Pacific and Global Indigenous Tattoo Festival:
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
Here is another short piece I watched some time ago that I knew I had to share, it speaks about the struggle of young urban Indigenous youth with who they are. I will add a link to the YouTube video and a article written by Indiancountry todaymedianetwork.com. It shows some of the tattoos which these young men are choosing to represent who they are.
I watched this short piece done by CTV awhile ago but haven’t passed it on to those who might be interested in the story that is told about the revival of Haida Tattooing and the work of Gregory Williams.
It is a great video highlighting some of the history associated with the putting to sleep of this great tattooing tradition, most notably in the case of the Haida as the film presents is the Potlatch laws. I loved seeing how Gregory is waking up this sleeping tradition.