Mixed Media Mosaic Sculpture by Dianne Sonnenberg
My work is inspired by the recently published Truth and Reconciliation documents outlining the wrongs and atrocities suffered by First Nations people, in the name of “assimilation”. People on both sides now have the opportunity to learn and heal, look for resolution and a balanced “peace”. It’s also about my personal Truth and Reconciliation: I am Anishinaabe, and have recently reunited with my biological family, after having been adopted as an infant. I am finding my people....my family, my community, my culture, and my place within it. It’s about the joy and the grief and all of the emotions in between, as I see that I DO truly belong somewhere, I always have, and I always will.
The deep grief and sadness of having been denied that knowledge and experience as a child, is a feeling that many First Nations children removed from their homes also know firsthand. I deeply crave the inner peace signified by the fragile globe in the center of my art, and hope this for my community as well. It is all connected. As we all find our balance and peace, the embrace is SO close. No matter the resolution, this embrace will always hold and protect.
The flow and direction of the exterior mosaic arises from granite from the Canadian Shield, the oldest known stone in North America. Some of these pieces are billions of years old. Granite is considered very dense and strong. However, under the artist’s hammer, it yields to the touch and becomes quite malleable. The small individual pieces are easily broken, but together, they are strong. The stone foundation evolves into the more refined Byzantine glass smalti and 24K gold “streaks”, culminating in a beautifully rich and saturated cobalt blue.
Lepidolite, a form of mica, lines the interior of the sculpture, reflecting the light from the surroundings, as well as the inner sphere. The soothing lilac color of the stone lines the soft inner core of the sculpture and enhances the feeling of inner peace. In metaphysical lore, lepidolite represents calmness, joy and serenity.
As an Anishinaabe kwe, an Ojibwe woman, I remain full of hope for myself, my family, my community, and my people. Keeping hope alive can change the world.