I recently birthed a womyn’s red frame drum for a local curated art show that happened through our local Arts Council and it took me a month to complete—over a full month’s moon phase… and completed it on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2023.
My Art Drum piece was part of a group curated art show and community discussions held here on Gabriola, through the Triumph program, Covid Vs Climate Change which ran the weekend of March 17-19, 2023.
—> more to come, below is a short slideshow of some of my process and my artist statement below that… i am working on a video that will show the birthing process.
If you are called to hold + caretake this drum, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
The Voice of Our Mother Earth
mixed media; wood, rawhide, leather, plant dye/acrylics/gold leaf
size: 16-inch diameter x 2.75-inches high
my artist statement…
I came into this world drumming and have been birthing drums for the last 30 years since I was apprenticed by my teacher. How I approach my drum making art is through intuitive inquiry and contemplation. I allow the elements of wood and skin to inform me of what wants to come through as art. There is much spirit within the wood and skin; everything holds meaning for me and a big part of my spiritual practice.
The drum is universal and considered sacred in many cultures dating back to the neolithic age and beyond. The drum represents the ‘voice of our Mother earth’ and She is the earth.
When I considered responding to this call, my first thought was; ‘We as a mass consciousness have truly lost our right relationship to our earth Mother. For We are the earth and We are sick and broken—hence why we are now dealing with climate change and COVID, etc. After a number of sleepless nights and insight received, I realized that our Mother earth wanted to be a part of this show, that She wanted ‘Her voice’ in the room.
My process: I always paint something red in the inner hoop of the drum to honour the animal that gave its life to become a drum—also an honouring of the ‘blood of the Mother’, and a re-birthing to become a drum as wood + skin are in essence, living, breathing beings. Also, in the inner hoop are over 350 burned-in prayers.
The ‘bones’ of the drum: Local yellow cedar is sacred to these lands: it offers protection, cleansing and is known as the ‘world tree’.
The ‘voice’ of the drum: Goat spirit holds the energy of strength, trust and standing one’s ground for Mother earth. I have dyed the goat skin in natural plant dyes and the gold leaf dot/poppy flower placed on the drum’s center represents ‘the compacted energy of the universe before the first sound’… or, the ‘point from which creation begins.’ It also represents renewal and remembrance and honours the Slavic half of my ancestry. There is also a ‘wound’ that has showed up on Her face, within the hide.
The colour red is significant in ancient womyn’s frame drums which were often painted a red ochre representing the earth Mother, women’s blood mysteries, fertility and birth. This drum is played with the hands/fingers and one’s voice.
I invite you to engage/play/sing with this drum and sound our Mother’s voice. What does She have to say? It is my hope that my drum birthing art helps us to reconnect to our earth Mother, to once again, hear Her sacred voice, as we once did. She is indeed our Source, not a resource, for we wouldn’t be here without Her!
I wish to thank all those within the beautiful community in which we live… who helped to bring this dear drum into being…
Joanie Wright, my life-long partner for her loving support + beautiful hands, Jan Pullinger, Louse Rebelle, Heather Menzies, Joke Mensink, Anita Jackel, Allannah Dow and Carol Ferguson and GAHC crew for saying yes — i couldn’t have done it without you!
i wish to acknowledge with gratitude that i live, work + play on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation...
i'm a creative soul choosing to walk softly on our blessed earth mother's back... more here...
Spirit Art Frame Drum Available by weaver…
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