Discovering her Indigenous background helped artist discover her passion for art
- EFN Staff | May 07, 2018
After discovering her Indigenous background, an aspiring First Nations University of Canada (FNUniv) Fine Arts student had discovered her passion for Indigenous art.
Sarah Timewell, originally from Vancouver, BC, relocated to Regina to pursue her studies at the one-of-a-kind institution.
“I really wanted to learn about my genetic history and my family because I was adopted. I also love art,” she said. “Just seemed like the perfect opportunity to come and be immersed in the cultural teachings. That’s how I ended up coming to the First Nations University.”
Timewell focuses on drawing and beading in the Fine Arts field. She has created various beadworks on purses, earrings, moccasins, moccasin boots. Right now, she is recreating a modern Metis version of a Cree woman’s hood, which is halfway done. She also does floral beadwork, which discovered a deeper meaning to the artwork.
“I know that there is a lot of symbolism in older beadwork. The way I design my pieces just ends up that they look more like what I’m trying to represent than symbolize anything,” she said.
When Timewell isn’t beading, she is curating at art exhibitions. The most recent gig she had was curating an exhibition called The Darkened Sky which “aims to show the beauty and diversity in darkness through works from the Arts Board’s Permanent Collection. The artists and artworks in The Darkened Sky reflect this diversity that consists of 15 artists, half men and half women, the exhibition highlights the beauty of darkness through a spectrum of artistic media. Works range from craft to fine art, with a wide variety of styles from representational to abstract and even folk art,” as stated in a Saskarts Board document.
Timewell will be graduating from FNUniv this Spring with an undergraduate degree in Indigenous Fine Arts. She doesn’t have any specific career in mind at the moment but hopes to one day further her education with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts so she can teach the subject to others.
“I came into it knowing that I want to include art in my career and my life but the specifics as to what kind of employment I see myself getting is pretty hard to say,” she said. “Being a professional visual artist is not particularly lucrative. It's a matter of finding a balance of something I can live off of, that is arts-focused. I have thought of curating and about pursuing professional artists in terms of applying for grants.”
The Darkened Sky exhibition began on April 1st starting in a town called Hudson Bay and will also be visiting La Ronge, Shaunavon, Melville, Lloydminster, Yorkton, Tisdale, Warman, and Prince Albert. The exhibition is set to go on until February 2021, said Timewell. Contributing to this exhibition was momentous to Timewell and is thankful for the experience she had.
“I’m so honored to have had the opportunity to work on this project. It was great to be involved because what they were looking for was to have a high Indigenous content in the show,” she said. “It was great being able to select some of the work that may not have been going out to the rental venues. Bringing together some of the lesser known Indigenous artists was the highlight for me.”