Two days into my Yellowknife Vacation and I have felt so much love and support. There have been deep conversations with friends, laughter, and moments of intense creativity.
Last year I worked with Erykah on two creative portraiture projects, one was regarding Mother Earth and the second was a Levitation portrait.
Erykah is a true creative, she is an exceptional nail tech, Jagua designer, dancer, and model. Not only was it a joy to photograph her in the heart of Yellowknife overlooking Frame Lake, but it was refreshing to reconnect and spend some quality time together.
I brought my bolt of tule and lace with me in my carry on and I fashioned a dress from a white bed sheet and used the tule to create shape and an ethereal movement to the fabric as well. It’s creative sessions like these that revive me as an artist.
In the summer of 2014 Yellowknife was ravaged by forest fires, claiming more than 893,000 hectares of forest. As a resident I breathed in the heavy smoke that permeated throughout our city. Whole weeks went by with low visibility and highway closures. With only one way in and one way out residents braved the scorched highway when it permitted and saw first hand the fires blaze like a natural disaster sweeping across the terrain, sometimes even leaping across the highway itself.
There were moments of sheer confusion when, in a city of constant summer sun, the clouds turned the city pitch black and thunder and lightning bellowed as rain mixed with ash stained peoples shirts a grey hue. In a matter of an hour the pitch black darkness lifted and the sky was an eerie orange.
I didn’t get to see first hand the affects the fire had on our landscape until Ian and I had to move back to BC. We drove down the highway and it had a post apocalyptic look, as underground heat remaining from the fire’s long put out, still smoldered up from the ground and small flames flickered every kilometer or so.
I knew in September that I wanted to do a fine art photography piece that showed the resilience of nature, her strength and tenacity to regrow after devastation.
In the Northwest Territories there was talk about the sadness of such a great loss of forest life, but there were also great encouragements that “fire sometimes burns away the bad and the weak, leaving temporary desolation, but then the Fireweed grows. A beautiful plant that through destruction blooms.”
I wanted this piece to be about Rebirth out of Desolation. An encouragement that in all things there is a greater plan.
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