Tania Willard, 2022
Medium: garnet sandpaper, copper nails
Documentation: Toni Hafkenscheid
An archival image of a Secwepémc woman posed astride on a horse contrasts the multitude of brass equine monuments of man and horse as a call to remembrance, often of colonial history. Here the afterimage etched onto garnet sandpaper, functions to remind us of exploitation, labour, injustice and the unstable and abrasive content of the history in Canada when it comes to Indigenous women. The image was found by Willard, as a postcard with the text ‘Shuswap Native’ on the front, in the Uno Langman collection of BC photography at UBC special collections library and then encountered again in a family archive. Learning about the ancestor in this image, which in the family archive is inscribed on the back as, Sophie Paul- died in mid 30s, the sister of tskwayásxn, Neskonlith Reserve, challenged the idea of the trade in postcard images as racial types and the association with landscape and travel in Canada. Here the image takes the form of a vestige of the original image, the moment on the land as an empowered Indigenous ancestor, with all it’s attendant remembrance of land struggle that continues today.