An artistic initiative to honour the missing and murdered Aboriginal women was presented on National Aboriginal Day with over forty pieces of butterfly themed work.
Most of the butterflies were created on a 10 x 10 canvas or wooden panel and hung from the walls of e’Klek Tik Trading on Third Avenue West, June 21. The room was full of people admiring the detail in some of the pieces.
Pacific Coast School was one of the major contributors, along with other artists in the community. Joanne Finlay, an Aboriginal family support worker at the school, created her own piece and encouraged her students to participate as well.
“I read the poster and thought this is something that affects our community — violence agains women. We need to give the youth of our school a voice. I really wanted their perspective on it,” Finlay said.
Six of her students designed a butterfly piece and wrote an excerpt on their work.
“This is my art piece that represents how emotional this issue is to First Nations families,” wrote Sarah Neasloss. “When I go to school the highway is right outside our classrooms. When I get off of work at night, I am aware that the highway is there again. I don’t walk home anymore.”
The butterfly pieces were also designed with fabric, glass or a multimedia colleague. Artist Brenda Brown used copper from recycled tea trays to create her butterfly. She stamped an etched English words on the left and Sm’algyax, the Tsimshian dialect, on the right.
The exhibition will continue at e’Klek Tik Trading until the end of the month and people can bid on the pieces in a silent auction. Proceeds will go toward a charity, yet to be determined.
For more information contact Christine Haubrick at 250-627-1144.