Halfmoon Woman Pat Bruderer is looking to keep her tradition alive.
Bruderer is one of few remaining indigenous artists practising birch bark biting and will be at Nadine’s Fine Art and Frames in Vernon Oct. 19 and 20.
“Pat Bruderer, Halfmoon Woman, was the first original art I sold in my gallery back in 2005, Wilson said, adding that she is excited to welcome Bruder back to the gallery.
Bruderer will be at the shop for demonstrations to the public and to sell her bitings. Wilson said these bitings are “as thin as tissue,” and will be offering a discount off custom framing for these pieces.
The intricate birch bark biting scenes are created through “seeing without seeing.” Bruderer begins by holding a vision of the finished impression in her mind then, using only her teeth, Halfmoon bites the shape of her vision onto a single layer of birch bark.
Birch bark biting was once a thriving art form and valued cultural method of recording stories and historical events, creating template patterns for beading, embroidery designs and quillwork, and was a pastime through friendly competition within communities.
In a one hour class with Bruderer, she said students can expect to learn indigenous culture and traditions linked to the art form, what bitings were used for and other history, symmetry and how humans can create it, visualization and cleaning your mind to focus on the task at hand, patience and confidence when trying something new and the importance of passing a tradition as well as each student will get to try birch bark biting themselves. Younger students will make a buckskin baby craft and try biting some bark, Bruderer said.
Optimal group size is no more than 20 students per 45-60 minute session. Supplies are provided by Halfmoon and activities and presentations are modified based on the age of the children. Cost for the workshop is $125 per 60-minute class or $500 for a full day rate teaching up to five hours per 100 students at the same school and same day. Cost includes supplies and collection and preparation of the bark.
Mystery artist welcomed at Nadine’s
Nadine’s Fine Art and Frames artist of the month for October is a mystery.
“I live to paint. My influence has come from the study of many artists but the painting style has come from the admiration of the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson,” the artist said anonymously.
“I am a fine art student for life, a teacher by chance, an active member of both the Federation of Canadian Artists and the Okanagan Artists of Canada. I have been I am sure to every opening of Nadine’s Artist of the Month, but this is the first time I have shown this body of work. I am so excited to participate in this gallery.”
The artist, who said they have lived in Britain and spent many years in the eastern provinces, has exhibited with groups and solo shows,
“I have made the Okanagan my home quite by accident and I am happy to enjoy the quality of life in British Columbia. I love to travel, paint, ski and dance. I will never grow tired of the beauty of this province or despair that I have no inspiration for a painting,” they said.
Nadine Wilson, the owner, said the work will be on display throughout October.