by Juliette Gagnon Strong Heart
As Indigenous people, we are artists at heart. From our bodies stems creation. We are the creators of beauty and of life. In every medium, this creation speaks to me. From mind to hands, art is brought to life. As Indigenous women, we are the givers of life, natural born artists. Our long roots reach deep below the ground and reclaim knowledge. Our hands stretch high into the stars and bring down the living Spirit. We are mothers of creation, creative mothers.
We are visual teachers, healers. My art centers around my identity and activism. My work speaks of my passion for who I am, for the land, and for Indigenous voices. My passion is my people. Much of our traditions are taught not in books but in words, song, and, most often, through art.
We are storytellers now as we were thousands of years ago. As modern Indigenous people, we tell many stories. Our current existence is the catalyst for them. Whether it be through words, song, or art, we speak. Through every medium, I speak. I speak of movements, of love, and identity. I speak of environmental justice. Indigenous gender identity and fluidity. I speak through paints, poems, beads, and bright colors.
My work is a combination of many mediums, as I work in almost all. Each work is full of meaning; it would take an essay to describe each one. My style is traditional Woodland Ojibwe style, rooted in the areas from which my ancestors lived. I take this unique style and blend it with modern techniques.
My work is me; where I come from and where I am going. My work, whether it be a painting, poem, or beaded jewelry, is an invitation. A hand stretched out to yours, inviting you to understand what I see.
See more of Juliette’s artwork in the Wildcat Art Gallery.