by Kristi Bridgeman & Lisa Shepherd
All rights reserved
Kristi Bridgeman & Lisa Shepherd
The Métis matriarchs of early British Columbia, often in the historical shadows of their husbands, were well educated, had the ability to speak many languages and could carry on the business of the trade. At the same time, their knowledge of plant medicine and ability to live off the land, ensured survival when everywhere west of the Rockies was still considered wild. Their mastery of beadwork, embroidery and functional leather work was much sought after and, through trade, provided means for their families. In the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia), it was Métis women who married HBC officers and were therefore, for a brief period of time, within the upper echelons of society.
Forget-me-not II is dedicated to Amelia Connolly Douglas, Métis wife of Sir James Douglas, the first Governor to the Colony of British Columbia. Lady Douglas was a nurse and midwife and was said to be as gentle as a wood violet. She was known to prefer the taste of wild camas bulbs to that of the fancier dinners provided to a governor’s family. She was a mother to thirteen children, sadly raising only six to adulthood. At an elderly age, Amelia chose to retire from society and spend her remaining years with her family.
Mixed media: moose hide, velveteen, glass and metal beads, porcupine quills, sepia ink and watercolour on paper.
This original work is 26” x 26” and has been shadow box framed with archival and anti-glare glass.
About Forget-me-not, Métis Rose: the Far West
Forget-me-not, Métis Rose: the Far West is the third body of collaborative work in the Forget-me-not, Métis Rose touring exhibition by cousins Lisa Shepherd and Kristi Bridgeman. The Far West collection celebrates the culture, tenacity and indeed the very existence of Métis people in British Columbia. The first Forget-me-not, Métis Rose collection showed at the Jasper Museum & Archives and celebrated the Métis stories and the plants endemic to that area, while the second collection showed at the Musée Heritage Museum in St. Albert, Alberta, and told a broader story of the Métis across the prairies. This latest collection, the Far West, localizes the story for the Métis of British Columbia, an often invisible group of people too often viewed through a pan-Indigenous lens. These are their distinct stories.
About the collaboration
Lisa Shepherd and Kristi Bridgeman, Métis artists, met serendipitously through an artist group, where they exchanged stories of family and ancestry. As they pieced together their stories, they began to realize their connection through their common ancestor Suzette Swift. With Suzette watching over them, the artists share their knowledge, explore their culture and create a collaborative body of work honour their Grandmothers and Métis ancestral designs.
This original piece is for sale.
Please EMAIL LISA SHEPHERD to purchase.