An exhibition of intricate loom beaded artwork is on display at the Ranger Station Art Gallery.
Artist-in-residence Tanya Zilinski’s show running until May 1 is titled “S’íwes te Síyelyólexwalh,” which is translated from Halq’eméylem as “Teachings from our Ancestors.”
Zilinski is an Anishinaabe artist and member of the Manitoba Métis Federation with family and ancestral ties to Dakota, Cree, Anishinaabe and Huron Wendat Nation on her mother’s side. Her father’s ancestry is Ukranian and Polish. She was born and lives in Ts’qóls, in the Hope area.
Zilinksi’s medium of choice is traditional Indigenous loom beadwork and the retelling of oral stories through the beadwork tapestries. She first discovered her love for beadwork through Coast Salish weavings and the stories they told. She was taught to need at the age of 15 by the late Mary Sanoval, an Elder of the Chawathil First Nation.
“I instantly felt a deep connection to this craft and found I enjoyed graphing new designs on paper,” Zilinski stated. “As well, beading the designs was very satisfying because I felt a great sense of accomplishment.”
She describes loom beadwork as a spiritual process just as much as a physical process, through which she draws great joy.
“I feel a direct connection to the Ancestors even before I start a project,” Zilinski stated. “My pieces are directed by visions I receive. Every piece has a Spirit. Culture, language and art are all cohesively represented in my work.”