Cheryl L’Hirondelle at the Art Gallery of Algoma

Algoma University Fine Art and Music


Cheryl L’Hirondelle
Why the Caged Bird Sings: Here I Am, 2013
Multimedia Installation
Image courtesy of the artist

The Artist’s Statement:

In nêhiyawêwin (Cree language), there is the ability within the language structure to speak radically inclusively so that everything animate is addressed and when writing in Cree, there is no such thing as a proper noun as nothing is above or below any other being or thing in importance.  These are concepts from my mother’s worldview that continues to challenge and inspire me.

Part of my larger nation-wide project entitled Why the Caged Bird Sings, the song Here I Am (Bless My Mouth) was co-written by myself, my project co-producer and most importantly by a group of incarcerated women and their literacy teacher at Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, a minimum-security federal prison located at Nekaneet First Nation in southwestern Saskatchewan. In the making of this installation, I…

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