Amalie Atkins

Saskatoon, Saskathewan, Canada

Centre d'exposition Raymond-Lasnier

1425, place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, Trois-Rivières - N46 20.604 W72 32.606

Synopsis The Braid Harvesters

16 mm film transferred to digital file, 5 min, 09 seconds

Set in a desolate landscape, a mother and daughter work together to gather lost braids. The film conveys a tone of loss and longing, of some tragedy past or tragedy yet to come.

Constructed as a site specific project, (while on an artist residency at Open Space, in Victoria, BC) the drift wood and fabric are lashed together to create an improvised make-shift structure to house the film and imply the imagined temporary home of the characters.

Relating to the theme of exile in Brave New World, the Braid Harvesters explores “the sense that some unnamed menace is lurking around the corner, or in the margins of what we can see or know.”

Artist Statement

The Braid Harvesters is the first chapter in We live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical, an ongoing long term project. Personal history and everyday life propel imagined narratives into short 16 mm films, large format photographs, cinematic performances, and installations.

Through the lens of a fictional world, the project explores aspects of subjective time - the overlapping of past and present, the actions of ritual and initiation, and the social dynamics of matriarchy and sisterhood. Bittersweet sagas of grief, joy, and transformation, the films explore the passing on of ancestral and familial knowledge through generations of women. Edging up next to the unknowable and inexplicable, the project explores the topography of the hidden or forgotten, unearthing and gathering hints of image and song; folding real life events into fiction, mixing co-incidences and dreams with fact to invent a new myth.

Question on the perspective that connects my work to the theme Brave New World?

My work relates to the themes of exile, the search for human truth, tenderness, love, and personal connection. The mother and daughter carry out a grieving ritual and moment of reconciliation with an unknown past.

The pair could be seen as part of the community of exiles and refugees “living on the wilder fringes of society”, making do with the materials around them, building a home, bandaging the remains, and bringing dignity to discarded, scattered, and severed pieces of a collapsed empire..


Amalie Atkins is a multidisciplinary artist who lives and works in Saskatoon. She creates cinematic fables through a blend of film, textiles, installations, performance, and photography, imprinting a fictional world onto to everyday life. Atkins’ work was shown nationally and internationally. most recently in London, UK; Vienna, Austria; Yerevan, Armenia, and New York City.

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