Laura Martin is one of the artists participating in Woodland Cultural Centre’s Virtual Face Mask Auction, Ga:hǫh ne’ hni’ ga:howe:kso/Covered and Uncovered. The auction is in response to the new realities created by the global coronavirus pandemic impacting so many Indigenous communities across the country, with 50% of proceeds shared with artists and 50% to support Woodland Cultural Centre programs, specifically School Visits & Educational Programming and Exhibitions.
Laura Martin is a self-taught artist located in Toronto. She was born to an Anishinaabe mother and father of Mi’kmaq descent. Although defining herself as a modern artist, she attributes her love for using bold black outlines and rich colour in all her work to the influence of her famous Woodlands style artist uncle John Laford.
Laura extols the power of symmetry and symbolism in both art and nature to creating a sense of balance and overall well-being. Laura started creating her patterns some 30+ years ago as ink posters but discovered her love for painting around 2006.
“My inspiration is the same as the concept of my mask itself. During 2020, I sewed and mailed out well over 300 masks for free to family and friends up north in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and on Manitoulin Island, as well as in the GTA and out east to family and friends in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. And finally mailed one for every staff member of Wikweimikong Nursing Home. Why? Because we have to stay safe and strong together. I knew many of the people I was sending masks to would potentially not be able to afford masks or not have access to masks. I also wanted my family and friends to have masks that were friendly to our environment and not be disposable. This is no different than my view on Indigenous communities and our values. While we may come from many different regions and communities. We are still one Indigenous community, and we must stand and be strong together and support one another.
The concept of my mask is to take remnants of all the different fabrics I used for all those masks and make them into one mask to reflect that we are one even though we come from many.”
Valued at: $50.00 CAD
Materials: Cotton, Suede Lacing
Final Bid: $200.00 CAD