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Miscellaneous November 7, 2018

Weave and Mend Artist Feature: Bert

By Jonsaba Jabbi

Bert is a multidisciplinary artist who works in drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, writing, film and acting. She shares her experience on how the Weave and Mend project has changed her life.

As an Indigenous artist, the Weave and Mend project was an incredible opportunity for me to claim and design a space that valued my cultural beliefs. By working on the project, I felt like I would be contributing to something beyond myself that would evolve over time.

A headshot of Bert behind a Toronto skyline

My creative process is cultivated through my emotions. I draw from personal experiences, research and experimentation. I draw inspiration from what I see, often taking photos of videos of what’s around me.

I use art as a healing tool. Art has changed the way I look at the world and has instilled meaning into my existence. Art has given me a voice to tell my experiences and express myself in a way that goes beyond words and actions.

My biggest inspirations lay in my environment and those who I surround myself with. I am inspired by my Anishinaabe culture and the resilience of Indigenous people. Artists such as Rebecca Belmore, Kent Monkman, Bonnie Devine, J.L. Whitecrow and Nadia Myre inspire me in my artistic practice.

Weave and Mend has been a life changing experience. I am very thankful and blessed to be working on such an inspiring project with incredible people that promotes safe spaces and natural sustainability. I’ve gained experience in sculpture, installation, woodwork, curating an event, design and teamwork.

I’ve already gained such fulfillment by working on this project, but in the future I hope to gain recognition as an Indigenous artist by having my name attached to something as important as the Weave and Mend project.

I want people to know the creation story behind the project. A lot of love and thought went into the design of this project, and everything that people see about the space holds a purpose. I want people to know that this space was created for a reason and to respect and value that.