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smokingkids

HONOURING ANCESTORS (2016)

The search for identity seems to have been a continuing theme throughout my artistic career. This became even more evident after I had my DNA profile done in early 2015. Some of what I learned about myself and my ancestry was a surprise, some obvious and many, many questions were answered. As I go back to this data and dig deeper into the science, I have been able to trace back my lineage well over 40 thousand years. Each time, I learn something new and each time, new questions arise. It's amazing to think what my predecessors must have seen and lived through - their resilience as human beings. Who were they? And could they have known that they would be responsible for producing offspring who would be alive today? What would they think of me? Am I like them? What other traits do I share with them?

As a female, my DNA Haplogroup is based on my mother's lineage. Although I've inherited my father's DNA as well, I thought it made sense to start this artistic exploration through my maternal lineage in a step by step process. The first paintings in this series of work are about my ancestral mothers. I've since completed some mothers from my father's side as well.

mikmaq Caribou Matriarchs Stroll

Learning about the various cultures that my DNA comes from has been an awesome journey. To be connected to human history in such a personal way is awe inspiring. I not only know more about where I come from but I also feel more connected with people around the world. We really are all connected.

Wedding CountryFam FishWives SmokingKids

TOP: Northern Lights (detail), 2016.
FIRST ROW (L-R): Mi'kmaq Mother (detail), 2016; To Catch a Caribou, Think Like a Caribou, 2016; The Matriarchs, 2016; Morning Stroll, 2016.
SECOND ROW (L-R): The Wedding Dresses (Berber Mother) 2016
, Country Family (2016), The Fishermen's Wives (2016), Smoking Kids (2016)

© Nathalie Bertin, 2009-2017.
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