Cheryl L'Hirondelle

Cheryl L’Hirondelle

âhkamêyimowimakan (persevering object) / no matter what...

Artist Statement

The Mobius strip (aka the infinity symbol) has, since 1816 been the symbol on the Metis flag. Long before I knew that one of my 32 great-great-great grandfathers was Cuthbert Grant, Lord of the Plains and the first leader of the Metis, who also first flew this flag, I did in fact know something of its meaning as it pertained to how I was raised. In our family, our Metis-ness translated into self-determination, persistence, sheer will and even brute strength when called for.

Despite my esteemed ancestor’s place in history, I don’t generally call myself ‘Metis’, preferring other historical Cree worldview ways of describing myself: askiy ohci iyiniwak (people of/for the earth), ka-atapiyimisohcik (they shall always own themselves); two terms I learned while working as a storyteller-in-residence in northwestern Saskatchewan. I rarely make art objects, preferring to conjure and manifest ideas. However the known correlation between diabetes, heart disease and obesity in Indigenous communities and the colonial shift away from seasonal and a land-based hunting and harvesting lifestyle towards a consumer and processed food dependency needs constant addressing. My intent with this object made with naturally harvested maple sugar, is that the co-dependent gift-that-keeps-giving vicious cycle shifts to an eternal and infinite loop of health and wellbeing.

 

Bio

Cheryl L'Hirondelle is an Alberta-born, mixed-blood, community-engaged artist, singer, songwriter and media art curator. Since the early 1980s, L'Hirondelle has created, performed and presented work in a variety of artistic disciplines, including music, performance art, theatre, storytelling, installation and new media. Her creative practice investigates a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin) in contemporary time-space.