I work in fibre, sculpture and installation, often incorporating craft techniques, animal matter, plant matter and found objects. My work addresses biological or bodily themes and speaks to experiences of grief and loss. I am fascinated by the power of the small expressed in microscopic processes like infestations, symbiosis and parasitism. I am often looking for evidence of congruence, like how fungal cells and neurons communicate in a similar manner. My work involves deep observation, research and exploring landscapes. I believe an experience with organic matter is like the sting of an insect—it is a genuinely raw and present moment with the body and the natural world.

As a settler artist, I am grateful to live and collect materials in Treaty 1 Territory, the home and traditional lands of the Anishinaabe (Ojibwe), Ininew (Cree), and Dakota peoples, and in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. When I collect materials, I aim to do so respectfully and mindfully. My drinking water comes from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation, in Treaty Three Territory and my hydroelectric power comes from hydroelectric dam projects in Treaty 5 Territory.

Pig intestine has been used for thousands of years as a food item and also for condoms and musical instruments. Seal intestine is used by the Aleut, Yup-ik, Inupiaq and other Inuit people to make waterproof parkas for practical and spiritual use. I strongly believe that once an animal is killed, every part of it should be used. I buy pig intestine (sausage casing) from a butcher. Matter from an animal that was once alive is very powerful and I use it to speak to grief, loss and natural forces.

Heather Komus