Elsie Joe is an interdisciplinary artist who grew up on the outskirts of Merritt B.C. Since childhood, she has had an interest in arts and crafts, often found creating works in mud and rocks or drawing and painting where she shouldn’t. At her mother’s urging, she enrolled in Thompson Rivers University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Visual Arts. Her artworks largely focus on aspects of texture, narrative, design and science. Elsie plans to pursue further studies in Visual Arts or Museum Studies.
I have always had an interest in stories and storytelling and the visual media used that accompany those stories. Coyote and the Moon is representative of that interest. This sculptural artwork references and builds on First Nations oral storytelling traditions. The original story was recorded in Hannah Darwin and Mamie Henry’s book Our Telling and titled The Trip to the Moon. The last line of the story explains that the inhabitants who were described as having originally lived on the moon vanished, but without explanation as to why or how. My sculpture speculates on possible reason for their disappearance. Trickster Coyote is a prominent cultural figure for First Nations peoples. With him I expand and create an ambiguous adjacent narrative intended for the viewer to use as a “jumping-off” point for further exploration. Whether creating the story’s ending for themselves or as an introduction to First Nations culture, Coyote and the Moon is intended to urge the viewer to further explorations into their own culture, mine or others.
Kamloops Museum and Archives, 207 Seymour Street