Mi'kmaw artist Sarah Hannon beaded together Indigenous History and Pride for this month's logo

Beading connected Hannon with their Mi'kmaw culture and "Indigenous people all over the world."

Beading connected Hannon with their Mi'kmaw culture and 'Indigenous people all over the world'

Beadwork by artist Sarah Hannon. (Sarah Hannon)

Every month, we feature a new take on the CBC Arts logo created by a Canadian artist. Check out the previous designs.

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, and it's also time for Pride. Those two themes are woven into this vibrant beaded design by Sarah Hannon, a two-spirit Mi'kmaw artist whose handmade jewelry mixes Indigenous tradition with contemporary style. A PhD student at the University of Toronto, Hannon says that beading began as a pastime, a way of connecting with their Mi'kmaw culture. Read more about their story (and this stunning piece) below.

This design deserves a closer look. Detail of Sarah Hannon's CBC gem. (Sarah Hannon)

Name: Sarah Hannon

Age: 31

Homebase: St. John's (Ktaqmkuk)

Let's talk about your design! What inspired the concept?

I wanted to create something that included all LGBTQIA+ people, while centering trans and two-spirit BIPOC.

The centrepiece is a large floral in the colours of the trans flag against a black background. The four corners are the four quarters of the medicine wheel decorated with Mi'kmaw scrollwork florals. The sun, moon and sky above and below represent the circular pattern of time. The rainbow speaks for itself!

How long have you been beading? What drew you to the practice?

About three years now. I felt a bit helpless and alienated from my culture, and unsure of my own validity as Mi'kmaw. I wanted to detach myself from harmful colonial institutional assessments like "status" and "non-status" and gain control over my own identity. It was one of the smartest choices I've ever made. It's put me in connection with Indigenous people all over the world.

What's the project you're most proud of?

This one is definitely high up on the list, but I generally feel pretty good about my large floral pieces and birch bark work. I also recently completed my first piece of traditional scrollwork, which I really cherish.

What's your favourite place to see art?

Powwows, Instagram and hanging from my friends' ears!

Beaded earrings by Sarah Hannon. (Sarah Hannon)

Who's the last artist you discovered online?

I follow so many new people every day it would be hard to say. But some of my favourite artists on Instagram are @onlychildhandicrafts, @artnerdforever, @kquintelx, and @strikingstick. Rowan White (@rowanberryjewelry) has also recently launched their online shop, which is exciting.

What work of art do you wish you owned?

Impossible to choose! A bag or a jacket by Jamie Okuma, a necklace by Adam Garnet Jones, a drum by Chief Ladybird, a wood painting by Steph Littlebird, a pair of moccasins by John Murie, earrings by Kianga Lucas, a hoop by @beadsagainstfascism, a painting by Shaun Hedican. The list goes on.

Where can we see more from you?

Check out all my work on Instagram (@fat.bird.weaving).

One last look at this gorgeous beadwork by Sarah Hannon ... (Sarah Hannon)

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

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