paskwâw nîpîy

June 2018 - August 2018

Amanda Strong/Spotted Fawn Productions

Reception and Artist talk with Amanda Strong June 2nd, 2018 1-4 pm Free to the public

paskwâw nîpîy
Is a compilation of works reflecting on the elemental themes that speak to territory, history and our connection to the beings that reside in those places past and present. Aspects of three differing projects are tied together and exhibited as paskwâw nîpîy which means grass and water in Plains Cree, a northern Plains language connected to this place Wanuskewin.
How to Steal A Canoe ,is the story of a young Nishnaabeg woman and an elder Nishnaabeg man rescuing a canoe from a museum and returning it to the lake it was meant to be with. On a deeper level, we witness the act of stealing back the precious parts of us that were always ours in the first place as Indigenous people.
The audio is the film conveys the story both through music and storytelling. Spoken lyrics recorded by Nishnaabeg poet Leanne Betasamosake Simpson. The original score composed by Cree cellist Cris Derksen.
Since time immemorial Indigenous people have harvested sap from trees to produce syrup a practice that continues today. Two main characters Biidaaban, a young Indigenous gender fluid person and Sabe, a Sasquatch shape shifter set out to harvest sap from Sugar Maples in their urban environment and private neighbourhoods of the city. Biidaabaan can see traces of time, people, creatures and land. By harvesting syrup in this way they are continuing of the work of their ancestors.
Ancestors and animals such as Ghost Caribou and Ghost Wolf are imbedded within the landscape but only Biidaaban can see them. These visuals reverberate throughout the work to draw from the past but what we see is steadfast in the present.
Four Faces of the Moon follows the animated journey of an Indigenous photographer as she travels through time. She witnesses moments in her family’s history and strengthens her connection to her Métis, Cree and Anishnaabe ancestors. This is a personal story, told in four chapters through the eyes of director and writer Amanda Strong. The oral and written history of her family reveals the story — we witness the impact and legacy of the railways, the slaughter of the buffalo and colonial land policies.

Four Faces of the Moon contains no English language, relying on sound, image and Indigenous voices to tell the story. This multi-layered approach to storytelling may leave you with more questions than answers: it is an invitation to look into your own understanding of history, legacy and the importance in knowing who you are and where you come from.

Spotted Fawn Productions (SFP) founded in 2010 incorporated in 2014 by owner/director Amanda Strong. SFP works are celebrated globally in festivals, installations, Indigenous community presentations and have received numerous awards. Located in Vancouver, BC we are a creative, community oriented studio with a focus on illustration, stop motion, 2D, 3D and virtual reality animations.
Our mission is to provide mentorship and training opportunities for emerging and diverse artists. We do this by creating space for Indigenous people, women and non-binary individuals to engage in the many aspects of film, animation and production. Together we create innovative, layered digital projects with compelling characters, art and stories. Through acts of reclamation and collaboration we are telling our own stories, in our own voice, lifting up and empowering the future of Indigenous storytelling in film.
Our work can be seen online, television, in festivals and in galleries and museums. Our production partners include: CBC, NFB, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Jane Goodall Foundation, XCompany, The National Screen Institute Sesqui and BC Hydro.
Amanda Strong is an Indigenous (Michif) filmmaker, media/stop motion artist currently based in unceded Coast Salish territory, also known as Vancouver. She studied photography and illustration at Sheridan Institute and extended those mediums into creations in media arts. Amanda’s work looks into lndigenous lineage, language and unconventional methods of story-telling. Each film is a collaborative process with a multi-layered approach to aspects of animation and the sonic spectrum. Her films have screened across the globe, most notably at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, and Ottawa International Animation Festival. Amanda has received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, BC Arts Council and the NFB. In 2013, Amanda was the recipient K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Film and Video. Most recently she was selected by renowned filmmaker Alanis Obamsawin to receive $50,000 in post-services through the Clyde Gilmour Technicolour Award.