Professionally trained in photography, Cynthia has always had an affinity for arts and crafts. Since marrying into a Métis family she has been taught the art of making moccasins. Beading became a favourite way to relax and rewind.
In 2017 Cynthia sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (sTBI) that left her fighting for her life, and in one second of one day normal came to an end.
Cynthia had to relearn a lot of things—writing, reading, managing stairs, even putting jam on toast. Gone were the days peering through a camera looking for a great subject, or getting lost in crafting detailed beadwork. Now, her art is a CAN in a world of CAN’Ts. Cynthia’s mantra is “when life is filled with things you can no longer do, you need to find something you can do”.
Inspired by a piece of native art, by an unknown artist, she decided to use up some spare leather to just do something. Something that would allow her to work on cognitive function, fine motor skills, concentration, endurance and so much more.
Cynthia’s pieces are created by spending a few minutes up to an hour on a task before calling it a day. Each piece is significant—creating it has helped Cynthia to redevelop lost skills, to work through trauma, and to rediscover the joy of creating.