Tiffany Shaw-Collinge transcends generations using her great-grandmother's moccasin patterns

This Métis artist uses historical family designs to inspire contemporary work.

This Métis artist uses historical family designs to inspire contemporary work

Tiffany Shaw-Collinge is a Edmonton-based Metis artist. (CBC Arts)

What do you think of when it comes to traditional Métis​ art? Perhaps beadwork, sewing and embroidery come to mind. But what would that look like combined with modern laser-cutting and 3D modelling?

Tiffany Shaw-Collinge is reworking these traditional art forms with new technology at the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Her piece for the show, which you can see in the video below, includes six miniature cabins made with a variety of materials that outline her Métis heritage. Two cabins that were specially commissioned for the exhibit utilize her great-grandmother's floral moccasin beading pattern.

Watch the video:

Tiffany Shaw-Collinge shows the six miniature cabins on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. 3:19

"I'm just thinking about where Indigenous people are going, what kind of materials are they using today as opposed to when leather was being used with my great-grandmother as a moccasin maker," says Shaw-Collinge.

Shaw-Collinge explains in the video that she feels permission to move these ancestral designs forward because they come from her family. She experiments with water jet cutting, plasma cutting and materials like mirror mylar to represent traditional Indigenous culture in today's era.

"Our culture is not stagnant — it's thriving," she says.

A young Tiffany Shaw-Collinge poses for a family photo. (CBC Arts)

You can check out Tiffany Shaw-Collinge's cabins at the Insurgence/Resurgence exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery until April 22, 2018.

This series of Insurgence/Resurgence artist profiles is a collaboration between CBC Arts and CBC Indigenous. Check out other videos here.

About the Author

Conor McNally is a filmmaker based in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, Treaty 6). Conor has made numerous short films to date, with his most recent being ôtênaw (2017). He is a proud father and member of the Métis Nation of Alberta.