Cheyenne Rain LeGrande ᑭᒥᐊᐧᐣ
TSF 2018 Visual ArtistN î p î y ᓃᐲᕀ
“Nîpîy” in my Cree language means water. Water is an essential part of our life. This piece was created during the pipeline protests, and was a way for me to express and show the strength of our peoples. Through my practice I often explore my own identity as an indigenous woman and the use of my own body allows me to directly reference a female indigenous experience. As I emerge my body and move with water, I am saying that water is life. I wanted to create a mystical being, a being of strength and power. I was honoured and very thankful to use a song written by a woman who I look at as a symbol of power and strength, nimâmâ(My mother). The first portion is my mother Connie LeGrande singing and in the second half I join her as we bring our voices together as one.
P i m i y ᐱᒥ
“Pimiy” in my Cree Language means Oil. In this piece I was thinking about how we as beings treat mother earth. In this work I wanted to address issues around the environment and oil. I often use beads in my practice because they signify the history of colonization. Beads were brought to us as a means of trade and we loved them for their beauty, and we began to use them for our ceremonial regalia and today they are deeply rooted in our culture. One single small glass bead holds so much history and at the same time holds so much beauty. I place these beads on my face as the black liquid falls down it begins to suffocate my face, I gasp for breath. How we treat mother earth is not okay and through this video I express my strong urge to want to reverse this treatment. I am honored to use nimâmâ(my mother), Connie LeGrande vocals and spoken word in this piece. In the beginning of the video my mother sings and hums into a drum, her voice vibrates as it hits the drum. I have applied an effect to the spoken word to create a visceral hunting sound. Ay Ay nimâmâ.