Siigwan – Priscilla Settee & Patricia Ningewance

April 2016 - June 2016

Patricia Ningewance & Priscilla Settee

Siikwan means “it is spring time” in both Cree and Ojibwe.

We chose this name for the show because springtime is a time of renewal and rebirth. The winter is coming to an end and soon life will flourish in the forest and on the land again. Our fabric art represents this life. Patricia begins with black fabric and adds rickrack trim and ribbons, forming an image. She then adds embroidery. Lastly beadwork, shells and buttons are sewn on. She lets the medium take her where it wants to go. She creates portraits of people she has known or animals she wishes to honor.

Priscilla’s work pays homage to the beauty but also the critical disappearances of species happening daily. Her replications of wolves, bugs, fish, birds, dragonflies and butterflies bring attention to their beauty and endangered state. Settee’s work is inspired from different regions of the world including Indigenous designs from South America, the Pueblo region of the southern states and her own Swampy Cree First Nations and Plains Cree relatives. Her work and each stich are both a celebration and a reminder of the need to preserve the natural world.

Pat Ningewance, Priscilla Settee
Priscilla Settee is a fabric artist whose wolf image was purchased by the Saskatchewan Arts Board to be part of its Permanent Collection. Other pieces which depict cultural resiliency as well as disappearing species have appeared on several communiqués and posters. She uses embroidery cotton and silk, shells, buttons and sequins to create vibrate images on melton wool.   Settee is an Associate Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Saskatchewan and is a member of Cumberland House Cree First Nations from northern Saskatchewan and has produced two books on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Women’s Stories.

Patricia Ningewance says this about her work, “My art education began when I spent much time inside a tent as a child. Every summer, my family and I lived in miner’s tents as we moved around the lakes in northwestern Ontario so my dad could fish commercially. On rainy days, we were in a tent all day and there was nothing to look at except the fabrics that were in our clothing and in our quilts. That is where my relationship with cloth began.

Later I took four years of Art from Mr. Norman Ortiz at Korah Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. He taught Art History, Composition, and Theory during those four years. He taught his students to try all media: drawing, water colors, and oil pastels. That was the extent of my formal training. The only other way I have continued my self-instruction is travel. I have traveled to Mexico, the major cities of the USA, Peru, Ireland, the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand. When I have gone to those countries, I visited art museums, galleries and shops where I may see both fine art and folk art. I rarely took photos but I did store images in my subconscious of what I saw at the time.

I have led a parallel life as a writer and publisher of native language materials. My book sales may soon support me while I do my art, as was the plan.”