Glenbow museum in Calgary presents a group show, "Honouring Tradition: Reframing Native Art" which includes a video piece Nimin o aya’n / I have recovered by OCAD Drawing & Painting Instructor, Tannis Nielsen.
"In Nimin o aya’n / I have recovered, the disappearance and reappearance of my body reads as a metaphor of survival. The black paint spread over flesh - combined with the sounds of the train, serve as reference points of colonial westward expansion, and the intended erasure of My People.
The blackness of the paint transforms itself into oil, (a metaphor of blood), and my arms begin to echo the movements of vigorously, rotating steel wheels. The screaming sound of the train (in the first half of video) is made to be painfully un-bearable. The harshness of the pitch of sound, does not allow for anyone, else or “other” to be heard.
The latter half of this video depicts (our / my) recovery– I recover; reclaim my physical my thoughts, my spirit. Here - there is a profound silence; as winter blankets sound so too does this white paint - that allows for the act of remembering.
Poka Laenui, in his article titled “The Processes of De-colonization” teaches; that there are “five distinct phases of a peoples decolonization. They are (1) rediscovery and recovery, (2) mourning, (3) dreaming, (4) commitment, and (5) action.”
Rebirth, recovery, revitalization; this is my story and so it is titled Nimin o aya’n / I have recovered."