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Colour-Full Life

Sherry Duncan

Brenda Wilm


My conversations with Brenda occurred over two different phone calls. The first call was really an opportunity to connect and the second was a rich conversation about her life. It was during this second conversation that I took notes and asked clarifying questions.

Brenda talked about her Saskatchewan roots. It turns out that my dad used to run the train right passed where her dad worked on the grain elevators in a small rural town in Saskatchewan. I began to think of the roots of a tree (strong, enduring, grounded) and the golden wheat sheaves of the prairie.

We talked about the love of her life, her husband Robin, and their unique matching birthdays in January. I thought of a red robin and the garnet
birthstone. Then as she talked about her children I could see a family tree in my mind’s eye.

We also talked about being a grandma. She has the little love of her life right here in Fort McMurray. This made me think about a “precious jewel.” Brenda has travelled with her granddaughter and especially loves Mexico. I thought of the blue and purple waves and all of the memories that her granddaughter has because of this lovely deep relationship.

We talked a bit about the wildfire of 2016 and I thought of the red and orange glow in the sky on the night we all evacuated. We talked a bit about what kinds of crafts/art she enjoyed.

She shared with me that in the past she has used macramé as a way to express her artistic side. I thought about weaving and how I have never done this before. I suggested that we have another conversation in the following week. I was so inspired that once I started planning the ideas just flowed. I wanted to use several different art processes to bring our conversation to life. Here is a bit more of a detailed look at each section of the piece I created.
– Sherry Duncan