Land is Life is a collaboration between the Oasis Skateboard Factory (OSF) and Aura Last. The Oasis Skateboard Factory is an alternative TDSB high school program where students earn high school credits by building and selling skateboards and running a small design business.
Monique Aura Bedard (ukwe x they/them) is a neurodiverse Onyota'a:ka x French art-maker x visual storyteller who is currently based on Dish with One Spoon Territory (Tkaronto). They grew up on Anishinaabe aki, down river from Aamjiwnaang First Nation, they have family there as well. Through their art practice (sewing, beading, painting murals, journaling), they aim to express and share stories about intergenerational healing, neurodiversity, identity, empowerment, and truth.
Living in an urban environment it can be easy to overlook the natural world and the processes of growth and decay that constantly surround us. Even skateboards come from the earth through the harvesting of wood, and return to our ecosystem when they eventually decay. The process of beading takes patience, focus and an acceptance of imperfection. Each bead is an intentional action, just like every molecule is precisely designed to give structure to our world.
Responding to the prompts “What gives you life?,” OSF and Aura designed a series of hand-made beaded skateboards inspired by our relationships with nature. Combining photo transfer and beads, each board reveals the inner-spirit of the world around us.