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Design Story: TRIBAL

Tribal artwork - Courage My Love Clothing

Method: Found objects, digital art

Artist: Persephone Singfield

Artist Quote

Nature has a beautiful palette of texture and colour. The Tribal design is made with a combination of found and natural materials and it came together like the ultimate indigenous crafting project. Being born in Canada and spending time with its native people I was always fascinated by their craft. While I was creating Tribal, I went deep into my imagination to find a picture of what my tribe would wear, should I belong to one. Being a traveler I opened my design up to the global resources of natural objects and used shells from one country, feathers from another and woven fibres from different locations. With today’s technology, we get to mix media and create amazing things. This is my variation of the natural environment within a technical and synthetic medium, bridging two of the worlds I live in together into my design. When I was in my early 20’s I spent 3 months in northern Canada residing with an Innu tribe on a reserve in Goose Bay, Labrador. The first night I arrived the family’s son and father had returned from a caribou hunt and in the basement of the home I was staying at the family was dealing to the kill. There were four caribou carcasses in the basement and they explained to me in their broken English that this was theirs to keep after making sure everyone else in the village had received what they needed. They had harvested 90 Caribou on that hunt. I thought this was an excellent village spirit and over the next few months frequently witnessed this ‘give before you take’ practice. While I was there I learned local craft. I worked with the sinew and hides of the caribou for moccasins and bags. I worked with the quills of the porcupine to create beautiful jewelry. I learned folklore about their heritage, animal spirits and the Aurora Borealis. Being born a white girl in French Canada I was rather disconnected from tribal living. This was the first introduction I had to this lifestyle. It opened the world up to me and for some years after that experience I traveled the world and integrated into community living of all forms in different countries.

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