Despite the title, Self-portrait is a depiction of the artist’s grandmother: seen from behind, kneeling, she is carefully tending a flower bed. The shimmering colours of her dress and the luxuriant plant life evoke the Haitian gardens of the painter’s youth. But the scene is set in Blainville, where his grandmother lived. This painting deals with the concept of filiation, the special connection between the artist and his grandmother, the first person from his maternal family to immigrate to Quebec. Mathieu presents this territory as part of her dual sense of cultural identity. He appropriates this duality and descent by titling his painting Self-portrait. Through various evocations of heritage and belonging, he anchors his work in the current concerns of Black communities in Canada.