We Are Enough is a 2017 collaborative photo series by British Columbia-based artists Lindsay Delaronde and Dionne Paul. The series explores ideas about womanhood, sacred renewal, and sexuality as medicine. These images, shot by photographer Sherry Nelson, are perhaps made even more powerful due to their compelling relevance in a cultural landscape just beginning to shine the spotlight on sexual abuse crimes against women. These crimes, including those specifically inflicted upon Indigenous women, are progressively coming to light in greater numbers everyday. But what are we as Indigenous people specifically doing to improve this landscape? We Are Enough highlights the sacredness of the female body as something to be treasured and honoured, rather than devoured and abused. This representation and expression of Indigenous female corporal value is something we are simply not seeing enough of in popular media. And yet, this work attests to the fact that there are Indigenous people, Indigenous women, working towards changing this. The work of both artists featured in this photo series exemplifies this fact. Dionne’s work features connections between traditional ways of knowing and the condition of the contemporary First Nations state of being. While Lindsay’s work and artistic direction focuses on cultural resurgence, and engaging in socio-political activism through the arts. Both of these incredible female Indigenous artists simultaneously attempt to create spaces and experiences to release and challenge contemporary concepts of Indigenous female identity, in the hope of changing the dynamic to one of support, sisterhood, and safety for Indigenous women.
Description: Due to colonialism, commodification, and objectification of the woman’s body, Indigenous and non-Indigenous women have been devoured without being touched, tasted, courted, and honoured.
Indigenous women are seeking to create spaces, places and experiences to release and challenge contemporary society (two woman getting it on) and changing this dynamic into a sacred act of supporting women, sisterhood, holding space and interdependence.
We Are Enough represents the transference of energy, knowledge and healing from woman to woman. Heart to heart. The sage represents the renewal of cycles, purification and sacredness of women's bodies.
Sexuality is a medicine for the spirit and therefore is sacred. The sexual and sacred are not separate and either are women. This medicine is deep in our psyche and is waiting for us to show up and regain power, realign, reorder, and reassert strength.
Nature is the presence of sexuality and creativity, to be engulfed as women in nature is the symbolization that we are one, that we are of the land and also too must be honored, respected and cherished as if it were a lover, soul mate.
This work is about sexuality, connection and sacredness of the female body. This photoshoot is a collaboration with First Nations artist Dionne Paul. We will co-create images that reflect the themes listed above. Continuing to use photography as a means of self-determination and self-expression is the foundation of my work.
I will continue to bring awareness through art the importance of honoring the Indigenous feminine and working collaboratively to express and explore these themes of eroticism.
Born and raised on the Kahnawake reservation, Lindsay Delaronde is a professional multi-disciplinary visual artist who works in contemporary Indigenous performance and is a facilitator of traditional workshops. Delaronde earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design followed by a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Victoria. Recently, Delaronde completed her second Master’s degree in Indigenous Communities Counselling Psychology from the University. Lindsay is currently the Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Victoria, BC. Her areas of research are stemmed in Contemporary and Traditional First Nations art, expressive arts therapy and working with Indigenous and non- Indigenous peoples within the arts and counseling. Her research focuses on land- based, collaborative practice, cultural resurgence and social/political activism through the arts.
Dionne Paul (Ximiq) is a proud member of the Nuxalk Nation and Sechelt Nation. She completed a Masters of Applied Arts at Emily Carr University and her thesis research focused on traditional special effects in potlatch performances. Through intense investigation she has created a unique lens to view Northwest Coast art, thereby opening a window to new possibilities of art objects and the relationship to performance with her research on the mechanisms behind ceremonial performances. Her works feature connections between traditional ways of knowing and the condition of the contemporary First Nations state of being.