Ri’pin’tsas ílti skv́lhta, ílti spl’úkwa muta7 i skcúsa. Raised in mud, wood smoke, and tears.

Sydney Pascal

ECU Award Recipient

Emily Carr Alumni Association Graduation Award for Community Engagement – Honourable Mention

About the work
Raised in mud, wood smoke, and tears is an exploration of multiple mediums that grapples with the intergenerational effects of cultural genocide but is also a story about the reclamation of ancestral heritage. It is a multi-sensorial installation that invited viewers to inhabit the space and feel the loss and hope that is being evoked through the work.   

distance & n̓áskan nwálhen ni nskúz7a (i am going to meet my daughter)

These pieces were created throughout my MFA that played as part of the installation “Raised in mud, wood smoke, and tears”.

“Combining elements of documentary and digital filmmaking, Pascal’s distance (2022)explores the cultural and social ties linking family, landscape, and homeland. In the video n̓áskan nwálhen ninskúz7a (i am going to meet my daughter) (2023), Pascal delves into the history of her people’s forced displacement. The film opens with shots of a vast natural landscape, shifting to a ghostly figure lighting a fire on Lil’wat territory at Lilloet Lake. Archival audio tells of Pascal’s mother and grandmother, Maria and Attsie Theresa Pascal—both of whom are Lil’wat—who were separated by Canadian child services during the 1960s “Sixties Scoop” and for years placed in different homes. Manifesting belonging through representation of fire-building, Pascal’s film presents offerings that challenge the arbitrary political borders resulting from colonialist oppression.” – Whitney Museum of American Art

Hide tanning has given me a glimpse into a way of life that my ancestors lived and what it means to have a reciprocal relationship to the land and its beings. It has provided me a space to heal and a place where I could pour my energy into transforming an animal’s hide and breathe life into it once more before it returns to the earth.

My experience of hide tanning has been one of cultivating culture and community with different nations. The hides that are exhibited in this installation have come from and have travelled many places from when the animals were harvested to becoming vessels for story.

In combining video and sound with the traditional practice of hide tanning, I created an experience where I search for cultural kinship and a space where I can immerse myself with the land and the water to grieve and heal. Being able to showcase hides in gallery and educational institutions is a symbol of cultural continuance in the face of colonialism’s explicit hand in the earth’s environmental degradation, which is in direct correlation to Indigenous vitality.

Sydney Pascal

Sydney Frances Pascal is a member of Líl̓wat nation. She is currently living and working on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) peoples.
Her multi-disciplinary practice includes hide tanning, video, sound, and poetry. She uses her practice to tell her family’s story, speak about identity and what it is like navigating as an Indigenous person within a colonial society. Her work over the past few years is grounded by her continued connection to land-based material practices.

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