I am a Tla-o-qui-aht woman born out in the wilds of the west coast, on a little island, on the beach, in a spot where our whaling chiefs used to bring the whales in. Northern lights stretched out into the north the night before I came into this world. I believe in a deeply profound relationship with the land that I come from and a responsibility to it's survival, health, and freedom.
My mother, Paula Swan, is a photographer and painter. Her main inspiration is the beauty she finds in nature especially arbutus trees, flowers, moonscapes and seashells. My father, Joe David, is a Tla-o-qui-aht master carver and painter who is heavily influenced by our rich culture and his spiritual practice. I am very thankful that they both nurtured the artist in me from a very young age.
I spent many years in Vancity listening to the stories of Native communities coast to coast though my work with Redwire Native Youth Media Society. I learned the importance of healing through expression and the power of coming together in a circle. I have continued to find great fulfillment in creating space for others to explore their creativity.
Since returning to my home territory of Tla-o-qui-aht on the west coast of Vancouver Island, I have been reconnecting with my cultural roots. I continue to explore the community arts as a tool for transformation through my involvement with the Carving on the Edge Festival and The Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive.
My own creative practice explores feminist Nuu-chah-nulth values usually through woodblock printmaking, sometimes layered with other visual arts techniques such as carving, stencil and photography.
I have a beautiful daughter that teaches me how to be an honest and generous human being. I am listening to my heart and I am finding my special place of power in the universe.
Thank you for visiting. come again.