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Father, daughter team up for art exhibit for Indigenous history month


We talked to 23-year-old Natasha Redwood-Scribe, an emerging Ojibwe artist, about her work, an exhibit and contributing to a show with her dad, Dirkus Scribicus.

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Art @Bentall Gallery: National Indigenous History Month

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When: Until June 30

Where: Art @Bentall Gallery, Burrard Centre, 595 Burrard St., Suite 305, Vancouver

Dirkus Scribicus and his daughter, Natasha Redwood-Scribe, along with photographer Cam Swaze, are displaying their work in an exhibition in celebration of National Indigenous History Month.

We talked to 23-year-old Redwood-Scribe, an emerging Ojibwe artist, about her work, the exhibit and contributing to a show with her father:

Natasha Redwood-Scribe and Dirkus Scribicus at the June 16 reception for an exhibition of their work at the Art @Bentall Gallery.
Natasha Redwood-Scribe and Dirkus Scribicus at the June 16 reception for an exhibition of their work at the Art @Bentall Gallery. Photo by Jackob Schmidt /jpg

Q: How did this exhibit come together?

A: I had recently done an exhibition with Art Vancouver. The person who runs it, Lisa Wolfin, came to me and said we have a gallery, and since June was coming up they wanted to have some Indigenous artists display their work. I said I would love to, and then I asked if my dad could as well.

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Q: How did your dad react?

A: He was ecstatic. He was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” He’s been very supportive of my art journey and I’ve been supportive of his too. So we were happy to do this together.

Natasha Redwood-Scribe’s Remember Us is on display at the Art @Bentall Gallery until June 30 as part of National Indigenous History Month.
Natasha Redwood-Scribe’s Remember Us is on display at the Art @Bentall Gallery until June 30 as part of National Indigenous History Month. jpg

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your father?

A: His last name is Scribe as well. Dirkus Scribicus is his artist’s name. I moved to Vancouver about four years ago from Winnipeg. He’s the reason I came out here. He’s been a tattoo artist for almost three years now. He was in a shop in Kits and now he has his own private studio. He did art as a hobby and went to art school. But he was working in a film industry before becoming a tattoo artist.

Q: Does his work follow a First Nations’ tradition?

A: He has done some Indigenous work, but mainly tattoos in a Neo-Asian style. For the exhibit, some Indigenous-inspired art is represented as flash tattoos, which are common images for clients to choose from, created by pen and marker. Dirkus is also displaying other pieces from his apprenticeship, images tattooed onto latex ‘skin’.

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Q: You’ve said that you’re influenced by woodland art. Can you tell us more about what that means?

A: When I first started, I wanted to learn more about my own culture. I researched online and came across the woodland style and really loved it. I loved the colours. A lot of it depicts oral history and myths. For me it was to depict my own journey, finding myself, and expressing myself and sharing that with other people.

Q: One of the paintings in the exhibit is of a crow and a girl. Is that a self-portrait?

A: It’s part of a series. In the one that started the series I depicted myself and a bear spirit. I painted myself with green hair. That became me in these paintings. In the bird and the crow painting, the person is me. And I really like crows and wanted to show that. For Big Sister, that represents me and my siblings. I’m homesick and wanted to make a piece showing my love for them. No More Stolen Sisters is for missing murdered Indigenous women and two-spirited. It’s for the movement, to showcase that this is still a problem that we should be talking about and help bring awareness.

Q: Is there anything you want to say about National Indigenous History Month?

A: I definitely think it’s very important. It’s a way to celebrate Indigenous culture, the good and the bad. We’ve all heard of residential schools. It’s important to keep that conversation going so we can learn from those mistakes and preserve the different Nations’ histories. It’s a scary time and also a great time to be Indigenous.

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