Double Thunderbird Vamps, WWOS

Double Thunderbird vamps hand-cut on industrial felt with florescent trim 2013. Created for “Walking with Our Sisters” (WWOS) a commemorative art installation for missing and murdered Indigenous Women of North America. The number is as high as 600+ in the past 20 years in Canada and over 3000 in the USA. This large collaborative art work developed and spearheaded by artist, Christi Belcourt is booked to travel over the next four years at selected galleries and locations across both countries. The exhibit is comprised of 1600+ moccasin vamps, sometimes called “tongues” or “uppers”, the tops of moccasins are intentionally not sewn on moccasins and represent the unfinished lives of murdered and missing Indigenous women, laid out on a pathway to represent their path or journey that was ended prematurely.

“The work exists as a floor installation made up of vamps arranged in a winding path formation on fabric and includes cedar boughs. Viewers remove their shoes to walk on a path of cloth alongside the vamps.”

The vamps were created and donated by artists, community members and 63 beading groups specifically for this project who in some cases learned to bead for the first time. The exhibit includes documentation as well as personal narratives for each contribution that function as a form of healing to make visual a manifestation of the loss associated with our stolen sisters – with impact that cuts across cultures and nations. It is rare that my world of art intersects so directly with the personal in such a rewarding capacity and it is an honour that I respectfully help guide this project as a volunteer member of the collective organizing committee.  To make a donation to this volunteer run group or for more information on this project and how to support awareness please visit our website at: http://walkingwithoursisters.ca/

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