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Indigenous Artist Carves as a Means of Healing and Communication

Family photo - Jacqueline at the reception on the right with her mother in the wheel chair, sister on her right and brother peeking in from behind. Sharon Pasula

In good company as far as exhibits go at the gallery at Visual Arts Alberta (the photographs of our own editor Paula Kirman was part of an exhibit called “Art and Activism” from September to late November of 2016), Jacquline Fiala, and Indigenous artist, had a great reception April 22. She is back on the scene after an absence of 25 years or so since her last exhibition in the U.S., and I am glad. My favourite piece is the “Turtle Blanket Man.”

As with many artists, she feels a connection with the material. “I choose to work with specific stones because they speak to me and the conversations are comfortable,” she says. “Carving facilitates defining life experiences and refines my personal truth.”

This body of work, named “Random Stories. Random Stones” is a collection of carvings produced between 1996 and today. Jacqueline began carving as a hobby when she was diagnosed with a serious medical condition. “It was an assistant in contending with stress, loss, and grief and served as a form of catharsis as I chipped out memories and polished ideas to express myself using stone instead of words.”

The exhibit ran until June 2, 2017.

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