Fuse is all about inclusivity and community, so in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day we wanted to highlight the amazing work being done by Indigenous Peoples in Canada. We talked with Amanda Pierce, a Canadian Cree Métis artist, to learn more about her journey and how her artistic style began—read her story below!
Who is Amanda Pierce?
Amanda Pierce is a Canadian Cree Métis contemporary abstract artist and teacher who works in encaustic and mixed mediums to capture her connection to nature and experiences both new and old. She also experiments with techniques like impasto and mark marking to create layers that peel back to reveal the hidden beauty within her pieces. A native of Saskatchewan, Canada and current resident in Gatineau, Canada, Amanda has stayed true to her Indigenous roots to find her inspiration and connection with nature. Her artwork has been sold throughout North America.
To stay true to her journey, we let her own words tell her story. Everything after this point is a first-person recount by Amanda as she takes us through the story of her art.
My Art Journey and How it Began
I can honestly say my first art teachers were my mother and father.
My mom had this way of taking nothing and creating something beautiful. As a little girl, it was like watching her take straw and spin it into gold. She created beauty all around her, it was effortless for her. How she cared for and loved people is woven into how I live my life and how I create my art today.
My father, his passion was photography, I would get mesmerized with the photos he took with his macro lens, the up-close images of a spider's web with a bead of water on it... the veins of the rose petals or the colours and pattern of butterfly wings. He would take me to quiet places, sacred places. One time, I remember sitting within teepee rings, we would sit quietly, close our eyes and take in everything around us. After that, he would ask me what I felt. I remember the feeling of the cold soil beneath me, the fine beaded earth on my hands, the warm air on my eyelids, the wind gently through my hair, the sound of birds and wind, the openness around me... everything felt like breath. Now, looking back on this memory, it was as if time stood still and I was sitting in those tipi rings, but in a whole other place in time.
I had one grandma that sewed all my clothes and another grandma that knitted all my sweaters, scarves and mittens. Try as they might to teach me, I was totally useless at both and would often make a big pile of nothing. Whatever I tried to make with fabric and yarn often looked like something a crow would have been happy to take home to make a nest with.
This was truly the start of my journey and how my art journey began.
As a little girl I would often find and collect treasure while out on my walks in nature leaves, sticks, feathers, wire, whatever caught my eye... I would construct small totems and leave them in hidden places in the forest, it was my way of saying thank you. I still build totems in my art today.
Every day is a day of collecting earth's treasures. I can simply be inspired by a rusted paint can, a twisted branch, the texture or transparency of peeled-off paint. Everything is salvageable and has been put into my art in some way shape or form. As a little girl, I was encouraged to play and experiment. Thinking outside the box has never been an issue for me. With everything I have brought into my studio I have always seen it from a sense of wonder and "what if" possibility. I have set materials on fire, pounded stone into dust, ripped and torn up leaves, then assembled and stitched, weaved with wire, thread, and waxed them back together.
I like levels, dimension, and movement in my work, just like I see in nature.
Want to See More?
Check out Amanda’s website and social media to keep up with her latest art projects!