Individually stitched maple leaves by Tracey Lawko
Individually stitched maple leaves by Tracey Lawko

Reflections of Ourselves

Reflections of Ourselves is a collaborative art project that celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Canadians. Over 36 million people live on Turtle Island within the boundaries of Canada. Indigenous peoples (First Nations and Inuit) are the original inhabitants of this land, whose presence here reaches back to time immemorial. Some of us are recent arrivals while others trace ancestors who have been here for many generations.

I have chosen a tree as a non-political symbol of our human community where differences in human culture are like the variations of individual leaves on a tree. The tree branches are covered in leaves created by Indigenous, settler and immigrant Canadians in honour of their heritage. My own stitched leaves, representing common threads and the mixing of cultures, intermingle with the cultural leaves. I have provided a leaf template for leaf artists to use, but the design, materials, techniques and story are unique to each artist. Each leaf artist’s statement is displayed with the sculpture.

Through this project I hope to generate new interest in traditional and contemporary textile arts, enable cultural exchange and increase respect and understanding. I thank the Orillia Museum of Art and History for hosting the inaugural exhibition over the summer of 2022. I hope you will come to see these wonderful expressions of cultural heritage as the exhibition travels. Watch this short video.

The tree continues to grow! Scroll down to see the list of cultural groups currently represented. If you don’t see your cultural group and would like to create a leaf in honour of your heritage, use this contact form to get in touch with me. Read more about what we are looking for here.

Future Exhibitions: January 11 – March 1, 2025 King Heritage & Cultural Centre, King City, Ontario

Reflections of Ourselves Installation HWHG 2023

watch the documentary!

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council to create this documentary.

Textile Talk Webinar: recording available! See it here.

Growing a grass-roots collaborative art project: Reflections of Ourselves

Tracey discusses creating “Reflections of Ourselves” and producing a documentary about the project. The documentary showcases the artwork and features interviews with leaf artists.

Reflections of Ourselves

Past Exhibitions:

Wellington Heritage Museum
September 16 – December 18, 2023

Homer Watson House & Gallery
March 3 – June 25, 2023

Orillia Museum Of Art & History
May 28 – September 3, 2022

Leaf Artists:

Acadian:  Jane Bridgeman

Afghani:  Nooria Ahmadi

African Nova Scotian:  Myla Borden

American:  Joni Alexander

Anishnabai (Teme-Augama):  Victoria Grant

Argentinian: Patricia Vega

Armenian:  Tamara Harutyunyan

Assyrian:  Nada Benyamin

Australian:  Judith Powell

Austrian:  Helen O’Malley

Bangladeshi:  Pinki Laboni Adolphina Baidya

Barbadian: Orlena Broomes

Belarusan:  Iryna Varabei

Blackfoot:  William Singer III

Bosnian:  Nadira Derakovic 

Brazilian:  Ana Paula Brasil

Bulgarian:  Vania Zahrieva-Alexieva

Chilean (Mapuche):  Gabriela Rosende

Chinese:  Kwan                   

Chinese (Hong Kong):  Lily Lam

Colombian:  Anonymous   

Cree:  Vanessa Genier

Croatian: Tatjana Hutinec

Czech:  Susan Godwin

Danish:  Kirsten Johnston

Delaware (Lenape):  Christine Tuck

Dene:  Crystal Behn

Doukhobor:  Kathryn Soloveoff – Robbie

Dutch:  Ietje Jackovich

Ecuadorian:  Isabel 

Egyptian:  Christy Abraham

English:  Mary Lunney

Estonian:  Pia Kallas-Harvey

Filipino:  Mona & Clara Lavina

Finnish:  Anita Payne De Gaia

Flemish:  Kathleen Mcphie

Franco-Ontarienne:  Nicole Ménard

French:  Kathy Wylie

French Canadian:  Carole Thomas

German:  Regina Marzlin

Ghanaian:  Cecilia Asamoah 

Gitxsan:  Arlene Ness

Goan:  Laea Almeida Iserman & Jenny Iserman

Greek:  Kleo Tobias

Gwichin:  Cynthia Pavlovich

Guernsey: Laine Canivet

Guyanese: Jennifer Singh

Hawaiian:  Catherine Roland

Heiltsuk:  Mia Hunt

Hungarian:  Ninette Gyorody

Hutterite:  Elaine Kleinsasser

Icelandic:  Janice Lunan

Indo-Kenyan: Jayshree Khimasia

Indonesian:  Bernarda Antony

Innu: Sylvie Bouchard

Inuit (Inuvialuit):  Cassandra McLaughlin 

Inuit (Nunatsiavut):  Erica Jacque

Iranian:  Shahrzad Amin

Iraqi:  Diklat Georgees

Irish Catholic:  Joanne McBay

Irish Protestant:  Heather James

Ismaili:  Shamina Senaratne

Italian:  Lynda Mariani

Jamaican:  Lisbeth Haddad

Japanese:  Yvonne Bando

Jewish:  Karen Chisvin

Kenyan:  Stella Rakwach

Korean: Kyunghee Maria Heo

Lakota: Kimi Soo Goodtrack

Latvian:  Loree Ovens

Lithuanian:  Pamela Chasen

Madeiran: June Horwich

Malaysian:  Jeany Chan

Malayalee: Viju Menon

Maliseet:  Elizabeth Sappier

Maltese:  Joseph Muscat

Mennonite Frisian:  Renske Helmuth

Metis (Manitoba):  Deborah Malcolm

Mexican:  Sonya Elliott

Mi’kmaq:  Summer Paul

Mohawk:  Narda Julg

New Zealand / Polynesian:  Greta F. Hildebrand

Nigerian (Yoruba):  Olamide Agboola

Norwegian:  Karen Doak

Oji-Cree: Tamara Eaker

Palestinian:  Joyce Cybak

Peruvian (Quechuan):  Natty Urquizo

Polish:  Diane Scott

Portuguese:  Caroline Egan

Romanian:  Sylvia Ptak

Russian:  Kate Madeloso

Scottish:  Anne Condie

Secwepemc:  Kelsey Jules

Serbian:  Nadja Marjanovic

Sinhalese:  Chanthi Vijayapala

Slovak:  Teresa Gombita

South Africa:  Mical Pearlman

Squamish:  Xwalacktun Harry

Swedish:  Karin Clifford

Swiss:  Joan Hug-Valeriote

Syrian:  Samira Alyousef

Tahltan:  Carmen Dennis

Telugu: Priyanka Mannava

Thai:  Nithikul Nimkulrat

Trinidadian:  Marilyn Clulow

Turkish:  Dilek Gumus Aytekin

Ugandan:  Fatuma Mulungi

Ukranian:  Tracey Lawko

Uruguayan:  Sylvia Rocchetti

Venezuelan:  Gisela Figueroa

Vietnamese:  Tuong Van (Vivian) Luu

Welsh:  Leslie Whitby

Wet’suwet’en:  Charrine Lace


The tree continues to grow! If you don’t see your cultural group represented and would like to create a leaf in honour of your heritage, use this contact form to get in touch with me. Read more about what we are looking for here.

We gratefully acknowledge support from: