Lulu Series: Debra Sparrow
Know Who You Are, Know Where You Come From
Thursday, April 4, 2019
7:00pm | Richmond City Hall
Seating is limited
Debra Sparrow’s ties to this land are centuries old. As she weaves, she draws connections to her ancestors and to the people whose traditional lands once encompassed Richmond and much of Vancouver. Growing up in Musqueam, Debra remembers spending time in Richmond gathering knowledge from her family and from the land itself.
In this talk, Debra will share some of the Indigenous histories of this place and discuss the links between her ancestors, her creative practice and the modern city we now call Richmond. When the last known Musqueam weaver, one of Debra’s ancestors, passed away in the late 19th century, she took with them techniques of traditional Musqueam weaving. So, when Debra and her sisters decided that the wanted to learn to weave, they took it upon themselves to study the blankets handed down through their family, as well as the weavings found in museum collections and anthropological texts. Through this process of discovery, Debra and her sisters were able to reconstruct weaving techniques and revive the almost-lost art form of Musqueam weaving.
DEBRA SPARROW was born and raised in Musqueam and is self-taught in Salish art, design, weaving and jewellery-making. She is an Indigenous knowledge keeper and educator who is passionate about sharing her stories and her craft. Her contemporary work combines textile and Salish design into geometric, hand spun blankets and hangings. Her work can be seen in various museums and institutions, including the Vancouver Airport, Museum of Civilizations in Ottawa and the University of British Columbia. She is also responsible for designing the logo for the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and recently completed a large-scale mural on Granville Island as part of the 2018 Vancouver Mural Festival’s Art Smash.
This talk will be preceded by a short reading by CYLER POINT SPARROW.