SOPOR | Melissa Johns Art

SOPOR

Performance, 2015

Dreamcatchers have been used historically as a means of filtering dreams as they drift past, snaring nightmares in the webbing and allowing good dreams to pass through. A longstanding icon among First Nations, dreamcatchers signify identification with aboriginal culture, and are thought to symbolize unity within the Nations. Use of this icon has become controversial due to its popularity among non-Natives and subsequent commercial success.

On a personal level, I feel a significant disconnect from my roots: after leaving the reservation, my grandfather taught very little about his culture to his children. As a result, my only connection to my heritage is through independent research and artistic expression. It is in constructing this larger-than-life dreamcatcher that I intend to reconcile my desire for community with the anxiety of feeling like an outsider.

SOPOR was performed with support from the Waterloo Aboriginal Education Centre.