Celina Loyer

Assomption of Survival

Artist Statement

Our fur trade ancestors used the sash as a tool: a belt, a rope, a tumpline. With this mask, the sash is transformed into our tool of survival during the pandemic. Based on the ancient Assomption ceinture flechée pattern and colours, the unique shape of this mask springs from creativity and necessity. Completely woven by hand, sashes usually remain the same width. Shaping the sash to fit the face requires ingenuity and perseverance.

The sash is not perfect – changes in thread tension create imperfections in the weave. As we progress through the stages of the pandemic, tension affects people too, revealing flaws and inspiring adaptation of old ways to a new normal.

Our people have faced pandemic before: smallpox, influenza, TB. Yet we persevere. The means to survival can feel heavy or stifling, yet we will continue to do what is necessary to ensure our culture thrives.

Just breathe.

Celina Loyer 
 Assomption of Survival

111 Bear Street, Banff, Alberta, T1L 1A3, Canada

T: 1 403 762 2291   

E: info [at] whyte.org

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The Whyte Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of The Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts

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