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Hannah Claus

étude

Artist

Hannah Claus
Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, in 1969

Title

étude

Date

2019

Materials

Beeswax

Dimensions

30 cm (approx. diam.)

Credits

Purchase, François-Marc Gagnon Fund, inv. 2020.41

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

The first work of a new series, étude, is an extension of Hannah Claus’ installations featuring teacups made of beeswax, inspired by and moulded from her mother’s collection of cups. Informed by the artist’s English and Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) heritage, these works instigate dialogue about colonialism and Indigenous medicine. The natural elements featured in étude – whether material (beeswax), allusion (tea) or depiction (cedar leaves) – appeal to the sense of smell, and are used for healing in Indigenous communities. The remains of the melted cup on display point to not only the failure of colonialism but also to the potential for transformation. Ultimately, policies, like cultures, are not fixed in time: they break down and we recuperate the vestiges and hopefully learn from them. The cedar leaves encircling the broken, melted cup represent the potential to heal.

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