I have always been a crafty gal. In 2014 I started selling some of my handmade knitted items at local craft sales. Since I’m also a strange gal, I had some odd pieces as well. Much to my surprise, the weird items sold quickly. I tentatively went weirder. And folks were accepting of my strangeness. I kept embracing my unconventional perspectives and now I am a taxidermist creating, in my opinion, some pretty neat stuff!
All of the items I work with are primarily sourced from the woods of Wabanaki, specifically the Fundy area of New Brunswick. I purposely limit my materials to what is around me- this forces me to look in unconventional places and challenge my creative mind. In a world of mail order a lot, I have chosen the opposite to inform my art practice- look and see. Because of this, my creations are small batch and limited in availability.
Every item is gathered with intention and created with respect. No two are alike. All of the animals I work with were never harmed with the intent of taxidermy or other dead creations. Some of the critters I find dead from natural causes, some of them were hunted for food and I work with what remains. Sometimes animals are given to me by others who have found them or needed them gone to protect their crops or pets. I walk through the woods and see what I can find.
I treat everything from nature with respect, kindness, and care. Nature is a part of who I am. I am a Latvian woman, descendant of diaspora and displaced peoples. I am trying to find space in the unceded territory of the Wabanaki Confederacy, the homelands of the Wolastoqiyik, Mi’kmaq, and Passamaquoddy. It was unsafe for my ancestors to live in their homelands and now I live on the stolen lands of others. I support Indigenous sovereignty and encourage everyone living in ‘Canada’ to read the 94 Calls to Action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.