Hope and Healing Art Installation 

Created in real time by Tracey-Mae Chambers
Sun 12 Sept 2021 – All day // The Backyard at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

I grew up as a stranger to my own story; adopted and re-named, grafted into a new family tree. The discovery in adulthood of my Metis heritage was a revelation that set me on a path of discovery. My developing story as an indigenous heritage woman and her quest for harmony with the natural world.  I am a proud member of the Métis Nation of Ontario.  My ancestors are from the Drummond Island community. 

Hope and Healing w/ Tracy-Mae Chambers

Across Canada I am creating site specific art installations constructed with red string.  Red is the colour of blood, the colour of passion and of anger.  It is a slur against Indigenous and represents danger and power.  It can also represent courage and love. This is the focus of my work.   These will be created, photographed and then removed, many on the same day.  The very same string is used in the next installation.  The string represents connectivity between people and the environment and each other.

Those affected by the virus as well as the weight of the daily news which highlights not only Covid numbers but unrest around the world, racial discrimination, the discovery of the unmarked graves of forgotten Indigenous children prolong the strife.  The discovery of these unmarked graves illustrates to me the almost total lack of meaningful connection between settlers and Indigenous communities.  The apparent surprise by many Canadians at the discovery of these unmarked graves seems surreal to me.  The discovery surprises no one in Indigenous communities however the recording of the number of graves found is reminiscent of the assigning of numerals to ‘students’ as their names were too difficult to pronounce.  I have a personal friend who still wears the ‘tag’ with his number imprinted on it which reminds him of his torturous time in the residential school.  

The bad news goes on and on.  How do we pick up the pieces of our lives?  Individually and collectively.  How do we heal and stay hopeful?  How do we connect?

Tracey-Mae’s installation will be created with red string and will be installed, photographed and then removed all in ONE DAY in the backyard of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Sun 12 Sept 2021. 


September 12 @ 07:00
7:00 am — 3:00 pm

Tracey-Mae Chambers