This work by Simon Brascoupé draws inspiration from traditional birch bark basket ornamentation. Adapting techniques used to render patterns on birch bark, Brascoupé, an Algonquin artist from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation, uses vibrant acrylic color and a birch bark stencil on paper to depict a bear, a sacred animal within Anishinaabe culture and a motif used in a basket design. A lifeline represented by an arrow, a traditional symbol stemming back to rock art, runs from the bear’s mouth to its heart, and a warm yellow light denoting spiritual power emanates from within. Blending both contemporary and traditional practices, Brascoupé’s work revitalizes culturally significant motifs and techniques to communicate and protect Indigenous knowledge.
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