This story is part of a feature that first appeared in print in Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine’s July 2022 issue. Read the entire e-edition here:
It’s been a joy to see Ariel Kesike Hill — Bneshiinhs establish herself on the professional Revelstoke arts scene over the past few years. She arrived with a BFA major in Glass from the Alberta University of the Arts and a jewelry certificate from the Kootenay School of the Arts and has since leveraged her technical and theoretical skills into a multimedia oeuvre that continues to expand. Her latest exhibit, Honour | Respect, featured in a June gallery exhibit at the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre, represents her personal and artistic development journey over the past two years to rejoin her Haudenausanee and Anishinaabe language, arts and cultural roots.
Based on the Anishinaabe Prophecy of the Seven Fires teaching, which augurs a pilgrimage of youth to seek wisdom from elders, Hill coordinates glass sculpture and jewelry with film photography. Intricate macro photo studies of moss and lichen are paired with layered glass vases that echo the delicate and dark forest floor patterns.
In the Sediment Series, photos of the oxidized ancient sediments of Horseshoe Canyon in southern Alberta are mirrored in glass creations that echo the stratification of erosion in swirling ochre, cream and ebony coloured glass.
Matriarch Series, a black and white film family self-portrait photo series including her mother and grandmother, is interlaced with glass jewelry works blending traditional motifs and contemporary patterns.
“My glass practice has always been focused on elements of the natural world,” says Kesike Hill — Bneshiinhs in the exhibit statement. “In my work in I attempt to honour the visual beauty and fine details that exist within nature in order to evoke a sense of connection between the viewer and the subject matter.”
Hill — Bneshiinhs artistic works pair thoughtful natural studies with technical skill making her ongoing development as an artist exciting to watch and meditate on. She displays at regional galleries and also partners with Big Eddy Glass Works in Revelstoke. Find her online at akhstudios.ca and @akh_studios.