Cynthia Boehm

Optimism

Cynthia Boehm Optimism

Artist Statement

“Optimism” a mental attitude reflecting a belief or hope that the outcome will be positive. When I made this mask the word optimism came to my mind. Wanting to share a positive message during these uncertain times “optimism” expressed my feelings and gave me hope. The inspiration for the mask came from all the elaborate, exquisite mukluks that were created in Norway House. Grateful for the makers of the many stunning mukluks that I personally knew through immediate family, one maker being my lovely great grandmother. The mask is made with smoked home tan deer hide accented with decorative red lace and rabbit fur pom poms that was common in Norway House mukluk designs. The beadwork represents the bright, bold floral beadwork that I remember and is forever instilled in my memory. The Cree/Métis women of northern Manitoba, in particular Norway House are known for their bright bold silk embroidery often referenced as the “Norway House Style”. Through my studies of beadwork, I have noticed that the bright bold embroidery patterns have been carried over into the beadwork patterns of Norway House beadwork designs, and is what my mask represents.