I made this mask for my daughter. I chose the wild rose for it embodies strength, resilience and healing. They were my mother's favourite flower, as well as mine and now my daughters too. The rose petals and rose hips are very medicinal and I harvest the rose hips every year. Julia and I bonded over many cups of rose hip tea in her Great Gramma’s tea cups while we stayed safe at home.
I wanted to make a mask that would symbolize hope and healing…physically, emotionally and mentally. As I was making the mask I thought a lot about how fortunate we were that our family had been able to remain healthy and safe and felt deeply for all those who were not so fortunate, who had lost loved ones, been separated from their families, and those who had died alone.
I learned to bead just over two years ago when I was fortunate to meet a wonderful artist named Cynthia Boehm who is so open to sharing her knowledge and ensuring this beautiful art form is not lost to future generations. I have been so blessed to reclaim this piece of my culture that was lost over the generations and so happy that I can pass it on to my daughter.
I would also like to acknowledge Cree Artist Pat Bruderer (Halfmoon Woman), Carrier of the traditional art of Birch Bark Biting, who so generously shared her knowledge with me and taught me about Birch Bark Biting.
While I did not learn the art of silk embroidery my Mother and Grandmother were so talented at, they were with me as I made this mask. My Grandmother left my Mother (her Daughter in Law) her sewing basket when she passed away and when my Mother passed, my Dad gave it to me. It contained my Grandmother's embroidery needle and I used it to finish my mask with the blanket stitch.