Located in hallway outside RC 274 in Faculty of Media, Art, and Performance (Dr. William Riddell Centre, 2nd floor)
Blood (Remnants of my Grandmothers), 2000
35″ x 35″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection; gc.2001.1
Intermedia artist Lita Fontaine describes herself as tri-cultural: Dakota, Anishinaabe, and Métis. Born in 1958 in Portage la Prairie, a member of Long Plain First Nation, Fontaine spent her childhood in the north end of Winnipeg. She grew up with a deep understanding of Dakota and Anishinaabe cultures which is evident in her art practice. Also an educator, Fontaine believes that art nourishes emotional, physical and spiritual growth. Like many Indigenous people today, Fontaine feels as if she is living in two worlds at once.
Blood (Remnants of My Grandmothers) (2000), completed during her Master of Fine Arts graduate studies at the University of Regina, is reminiscent of a star blanket, however, this collage concerns reclamation. The work honours her grandmother and exposes the government legislation that affected Fontaine and her family: Treaty One, and Bill C-31. Due to the Indian Act’s misogynist legislation, Fontaine lost her Indian status. It was through Bill C-31 that she regained status and some validation of her identity and ancestry. Her work aims to reflect an honest definition of identity.
Fontaine’s work is often political and addresses topics of colonization and gender-based discrimination through her personal experiences. She believes that racism, elitism, and misogyny intertwine. Despite such heavy and unsettling themes, Fontaine incorporates comforting and empowering symbols in her work such as family photos, beadwork, and often a centrally featured medicine wheel.