Darcie Bernhardt, Artist – Halifax

Darcie “Ouiyaghasiak” Bernhardt is an Inuvialuk/Gwichin artist and alumna of NSCADU in 2019 (BFA). Raised in Tuktoyaktuk, NT, where the ocean’s harsh winds carve into the Western Arctic landscape, she has a special bond to her family and sense of place created from this ecosystem. Her oil painting practice has primarily focused on the narrative of domestic life in the North stemming from memories of home. She was the featured artist for the Inuit Art Foundation at Art Toronto in October of 2019. She is looking to expand her practice by exploring new mediums. Her work is currently on display in the group exhibition Worn Inward at the Grenfell Art Gallery until December 5.

  1. Aqpiks

Aqpiks is an Inuvialuktun word that translates in English to cloudberries or bake apples. They grow every summer in the Boreal regions, are the perfect combination of sweet and sour, and are coloured with the brightest orange, yellow, and red. Some of my favourite childhood memories include sitting in a patch of aqpiks, picking (and eating) mostly for myself. They are best served in a crisp – hot, fresh, sweet with tea.

  1. Bingo

I’m obsessed with the aesthetics of bingo. Bingo was a huge part of my upbringing. It was one of the places where my community socialized, so I was always surrounded by bingo dabbers and skilled bingo aunties. I love the satisfying soft click and bold, bright neon release of the dabbers and use them often in my arts practice. I have yet to win a bingo game, and when I do I know that I will have unlocked official aunty certification.

  1. In Praise of Shadows
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This essay by Junichiro Tanizaki changed my life and affirmed my relation to the mysteries, depths, and beauty of shadow/darkness. I fell in love with the words as if they were sent for me to hear. The writing transported me to long walks in Tuktoyaktuk, following familiar routes, nearing pitch black skies. In the darkness I was able to experience sound in new ways. The crunching snow underneath my boots reverberated. I felt attuned to new sensory details. The essay also affirmed my deep Scorpio energy. I’m a Scorpio sun (clearly).

  1. Driftwood

Back home in Tuktoyaktuk, I would love to walk to collect driftwood. I would search carefully for all kinds of sticks, logs, and birch bark. The tactile and textural combinations of wood make me feel grounded and are a way that I can access trees up North. Looking into an expansive field of driftwood, I often thought about where they came from, their long journeys, their spectacular differences, and the stories they held.

  1. Baby Yoda

Where do I even begin? I’m obsessed with the endless memes, the biggest eyes, and the perfect cuteness! I feel deeply that Baby Yoda is an Indigenous icon. Read more about that here and check out the ways that Indigenous brilliance continues to decolonize memes here. Baby Yoda memes continue to be some of my favourite places on the internet.