My approach to creating art relies on collaborative explorations of self and belonging within so-called Canada’s colonial context. Coyopapalotl Itemic(meaning:... Read More
My approach to creating art relies on collaborative explorations of self and belonging within so-called Canada’s colonial context. Coyopapalotl Itemic(meaning: the coyote butterfly’s dream) is an ambitious project partially funded by a Canada Council of Arts Explore & Create Grant for Emerging Artists (awarded 2020).
Coyopapalotl Itemic is a labour of love. This project applies traditional and contemporary approaches to creation and meaning-making to offer invitations of reflection, healing, and integration. By using my Nahuatl name, Coyopaplotl Itemic asserts my existence and commitments to Indigenous Futurity in conversation with my Ancestors.
Developed through tintype photography, I use a traditional tarot deck, the Nahuatl term “Nepantla,” and the feminist theory of kyriarchy, as visual and conceptual frameworks to explore diversity, mixed heritage, radical acceptance, and ceremony.
Nepantla, a Nahuatl term popularized by Queer Chicana Scholar Gloria E. Anzadua, describes the state of in-between-ness often embodied and experienced by mixed and displaced peoples. This is a feeling I have endured my entire life. Coyopapalotl Itemic is an exploratory expression of Nepantla that disrupts archetypes, reclaims space, and centers transformation.
By creating a complete traditional Tarot Deck (78 images) with models of diverse experiences, embodiments, and expressions, archetypes are imbued with the profundity of our shared resilience. Each card is a reclamation. Kyriarchy is woven throughout, shaping decision-making in acknowledgement of power and positionality. Audiences are invited to activate reflections on kyriarchy, and integrate each card for themselves and their lived experiences.
This project intends to support BIPOC and contribute reparations to those who continue to face marginalization, specifically Romani people who made the tarot an accessible tool for us today. If you enjoy this work and the tarot from which this project is inspired by, please donate to stop the injustices of antigypsyism in the EU: http://www.errc.org