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Indigenous Arts & Stories - Meant Beauty

Meant Beauty

2019 - Art Winner

Ashton Walker

Winnipeg, MB
St. Theresa Point First Nation
Age 16

Author's Statement

I have portrayed the 60’s Scoop experience of my Mother through a cultural timeline that adds textured layers until the final unveiling. The first layer creates a blurred film with black and white colours blocking the portrait. The surrounding words in ink reveal my Mothers experienced life feelings as she lives with the 60s scoop story: identity and belonging. The white band around her body represents the loss of identity as she was surrounded by whiteness, thinking herself to be white, like the white family who adopted her. The black and white scratches on her represent the deafening silence and pain, tortured identity. The inked words scream out what she couldn’t explain at the time. As she healed from the trauma, layers of racism, hate, disconnection and survival are removed. The viewer is meant to remove the first layer: “Please remove film”. The second layer is thus revealed. It is meant to be removed by the viewer to reveal my Mothers’ oil portrait as she is today. As a testament of warrior hood and a life giver. I give back memory to her Sundance chest - piercings, covered by a healing medicine known as Sage. 24 piercings mark her body. The Last layer hangs beside her. Her actual piercing pegs that has defined her journey of toxicity to peaceful resonance. The depth of human strength is in her. With the plastic film removed, we only see her and her piercings, not her past, not her hurt, not her trauma, not her stereotypes, but rather her beauty. Her innocence. Her healing.