Tell us what you do.
I am a Mohawk First Nations Sculptor/Carver in Stone, Multi-Instrumentalist Musician and a Traditional Culinary Artist.
At what age did you pick up a paintbrush? And at what age did you declare ‘I’m an artist?’
I picked up my carving tools and chisels in 1985, but before this, I toured with my parents, and then finally on my own, the Art Show trail. At these events, I showed the beauty of my ancestral heritage through my craft & art, which consisted of Stone, bone, wood, leather, beads, feathers & other various materials, mixed media.
Tell us about the process of making your pieces.
Giving thanks to the Creator is first and foremost, for my surroundings, my health, and my gifts that I have been given. It’s as if the stone chooses me to help with their release of what is under the surface. Creating these sculptures on the Peacemakers Territory, I truly believe and feel the power of my ancestors coming from the land, the earth, and right into my creations. My tools are an extension of my mind. From files, chisels, sandpaper, and dental tools, these will help my “Original in Stone” come to life.
What is your greatest inspiration?
Being surrounded by nature, all things natural are my greatest inspiration. Having the Elders to enlighten me with the stories, legends and wisdom of old times of our People and the Newcomers. I attribute many of my accomplishments to my father Andrew, a respected Mohawk Elder who was an international speaker on First Nations issues and struggles. My mother Lillian was also very inspirational as she was an accomplished author, poet, musician, artist, and craftswoman. The combination of both my parents have brought me to this point in life, and through sharing what I have learned from them, I feel will help teach, inspire, and educate our future generations.
How do you feed your creative process? How do you keep things fresh?
By taking time away from the carving, picking up my music and performing, this process helps me to meditate and bring myself back to focus.. I am always trying to better myself in the arts. My passion for my music has brought me 9 Global Record deals, with fans all around the globe that gravitate to the healing properties of my music. My passion for creating is a combination of many different ingredients. My music not only does it help to heal me, it helps to heal others. Music is medicine. Therefore, I feed myself with the music.
What’s your favourite thing about Westport?
Not only the village of Westport with its unique shops and eateries, and not to mention my Recording Studio Summit Sound is also there, but my most favourite thing about Westport is “The Enchanted Forest Studios, hosted by Brian Mantrop and Kathy Cashman. I could not have chosen a better place to showcase my artwork, as the creativity runs abound on this property. I do many shows around the world, and this has to be one of my all time favourites.