Matriarch Totem

Sand-Etched Glass and Red Cedar

8' X 4'

Artist/Curatorial Statement

Matriarch Totem is in First Peoples House at the University of Victoria (UVIC). It’s in the most important spot, in my opinion – the student lounge. I absolutely love the piece. It was one of those funny pieces that found its own way. I was trying to donate it to the First Nations trail at the Glendale Gardens and they wanted to auction it off with UVIC. It ended up at UVIC, in the student lounge at First People’s House, as a placeholder. It wasn’t even supposed to be there, and it found its own way there.

The matriarch, in my understanding, is the main woman in the family that guides you through your life – even when you feel alone, you still think of that person. When you’re away at school, when you’re alone, or when you have to call home, there’s at least one person you want to call – the matriarch of the family. It’s usually the mother or the grandmother – one of those really important people in your life that when you’re feeling alone, you need to talk to somebody, or you’re going through a very important decision in your life, you will always call that person. And I think it’s very fitting to have Matriarch Totem where it is.

Chris Paul