Nané (she/her) is a lifelong artist and community worker, following in her artist family’s footsteps of always making things, discovering her love of photography in the darkroom at age 12. After growing up in Toronto, she completed a BFA in photography in the early 1990’s, studying with photo art mentors Charles Gagnon and Lorraine Gilbert at the University of Ottawa—a generative local for burgeoning Can-art photo studies. Nané was not long in the art world before pursuing her equal passion for grassroots birth-work towards women’s empowerment and healing therein. She spent many years as a lay midwife and doula supporting women giving birth while raising her own family in Vancouver. Within midwifery-inspired, sacred space-holding for birthing life, “art” never left Nané’s side, as pathways of birth and art became twined callings.
Nané continued to produce photo series and textile artworks drawn from the narrative materials of her surroundings in themes of birthing, mothering, and the subjectivity of her growing children in family life. Art making continued as a central medium for Nané’s creative graduate studies in women’s spirituality in San Francisco, and into doctoral studies in education at the University of British Columbia. As a matricentric (mother-centred) feminist artist and scholar, Nané developed research inquiries into grassroots birth-work, women’s spirituality, mothering, goddess studies, and transformative education. She then edited two anthologies with Demeter Press: Placenta Wit: Mother Stories, Rituals, and Research (2017), and Pagan, Goddess, Mother (2021).
Additionally, combining her love of art with feminist community building, Nané was a co-creator of the process-based, women’s art collective Gestare—meaning to carry in the womb. Gestare drew its experiential methods from ritual arts, sounding, labyrinth walking, embodied practices, and nature-interconnecting for their 10+ years of collaborative, community-based art practices. Honouring and practising gestation as an artful form of inquiry, Gestare projects can be viewed at: www.gestareartcollective.com
Nané is currently committed to Indigenous family services as a community social worker, and continues to draw strength from her multifarious art-making, birthing, scholarly, mothering, and social working life, with gratitude for the many gifts of her intersecting callings and communities. As an artist creating “outside” the art system, Nané identifies with the outsider art movement. She experiences artmaking as an avenue for social healing and soulful journeys—a life-giving human endeavour for self- and community- expression, nourishment, and co-creation, as we grow our human being-ness in this sacred gift of life on Mother Earth.
Artwork Gallery (Click images to enlarge)
Artwork Below may be Different from what is Shown at the Exhibit