A Gitxsan artist from British Columbia is among several artists from around the world chosen to create murals at a mountain village resort in China.
“To be able to put Gitxsan people on the map and shed light on the reality and history of Indigenous people in Canada is something I am very grateful for,” Sterritt said.
Angela Sterritt, who is also an award-winning journalist, spent five days painting her mural on a 10-seven-foot wall in a resort on Mount Longhu in Jiangxi, a province in southeast China.
She travelled to China at the invitation of Karl Schutz, a German-born Vancouver man known for establishing an acclaimed series of murals in Chemainus, B.C., in the 1980s.
Schutz, in turn, was invited to organize the mural project by Steven Liu, a well-known Chinese entertainer, who “wanted to create a global mural attraction in his artisan village,” according to Schutz.
“I found Angela’s website on line and was amazed about her powerful art … her painting is awe inspiring,” said Schutz.
Sterritt made the journey with her young son, Namawan, who also helped with the project.
The mural Sterritt painted is a re-creation of one of her existing works, called First Contact, which she says is about the resilience and strength of Indigenous women. It is a striking image is of an Indigenous woman facing the viewer, while helicopters hover behind.
“It depicts a woman whose connection and love for her community, family, the land and her culture eclipse fear instilled in us at the time of first contact,” Sterritt said.
“As a Gitxsan woman, I’ve been gifted Sip’ xw hligetdin — the strength to speak out — through my art and as a journalist. This piece speaks to Indigenous women rising from the ashes [using] what has been within her all along — her culture, in this case from the Wolf Clan, an Owl Crest and a Big Raven House.”