Walmart rawhide at Chilliwack Library

Jay Havens and his heron puppet weaved out of Walmart bags at the Chilliwack Library. - Dessa Bayrock
Jay Havens and his heron puppet weaved out of Walmart bags at the Chilliwack Library.
— image credit: Dessa Bayrock

“I’m discovering my heritage,” says Jay Havens, holding up half of an articulated heron puppet and pointing to delicate woven points along the side.

Havens is one of two Aboriginal artists-in-residence at Fraser Valley libraries this summer.

His project draws on traditional basket weaving methods, but he primarily uses plastic Walmart shopping bags as his material.

The combination serves as a comment on the contemporary idea of the natural world, and also as a suggestion—or warning—that consumerism has become part of Aboriginal culture.

"People think that traditions are all in the past, in ancient history," Havens says. "But these tales can be brought into the present."

Havens was at the Chilliwack library on June 26 in his final week as artist-in-residence.

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