Introducing my AI Digital Art series: Dreaming of a time. A visual series aimed at celebrating and exploring the richness that cultural inclusion and celebration can bring to indigenise the wedding space and reimagine our sacred ceremonies. To inspire more people from diverse backgrounds to take up space in the wedding industry, and impart your unique flavour and vision upon an industry that is long overdue for some cultural representation.
We are still here.
2022, for me, was a very personal journey of cultural reclamation. Feeling the guidance from my tūpuna (ancestors) and stepping in to my power as an Indigenous woman. Slowly, but surely, taking steps to reclaim and revitalise the language, the customs, and the spiritual practises of my ancestors – all of which were once outlawed by The Crown and almost entirely lost due to the effects of colonisation. This journey has blown my soul wide open as I begin to unravel with my own eyes as to the true weight of how deeply rooted the traditions of the coloniser has anchored itself in to our identity as indigenous peoples. I’m not here to debate whether or not those effects were either good, nor bad – just that they were. They happened. And the effects continue to ripple through, and influence all industries today.
When I was getting married, I had such a difficult time navigating the Wedding space. Sure, there were countless weddings and celebrations to gain beautiful inspiration from in my social media feeds, and from the Wedding blogs that I followed at the time – but I never felt like I belonged in those images. I couldn’t see me. I couldn’t see anything that felt like me.
So I recently began experimenting with the use of AI and digital prompts to help reimagine what the modern “wedding” could potentially look like for those of us longing to see ourselves represented in those glossy images. What the reclamation of our sacred ceremonies could look like, if we choose to revitalise them — and I will be sharing this series with you over the next couple of weeks.
I believe that we as indigenous peoples, and peoples of diverse cultural backgrounds, have the power deep within our DNA to revitalise, and reclaim our ceremonies and infuse them in to this modern day space. I also believe we have the ability to craft, and create new ceremonies in a way that honours our rich ancestral ties to those that walked this land long before us.
Just to be clear: these are not my artworks. They have been in collaboration with an AI generator, where I give a series of prompts to fit the vision I’m trying to illustrate and then they are digitally created.
AI art is not perfect. It is often unable to distinguish how many fingers a person is supposed to have, and it certainly doesn’t understand the nuances of cultural identity and very specific cultural symbolism and meaning (such as the specific and unique symbols, colours, materials, patterns etc that distinguishes and links us to certain tribes and geographical locations) but it can be a very powerful visual tool to illustrate to an audience what is going on in our minds as an artist.
One day, I hope that images like these are a norm amongst the sea of white, and indoctrinated traditions of the wedding industry (traditions that often have very dark origins). I hope that with the rise of the journey to self, and a global reconnection of cultural reclamation and celebration, that people will continue to explore and reimagine how they honour their unique relationships in their sacred ceremonies such as their wedding day – or even creating new ceremonies to mark the coming together of two people.
But for now, all I have is a dream….. and I hope by sharing that dream, it creates a ripple, or plants a seed. A seed in someones mind, that their day can look like them. Even if they have to dream it, and create it entirely themselves. Grounded in purpose, steeped in culture.
I would be grateful and honoured to join you in re-imaging your Wedding or Elopement experience, by helping you craft a day that is not only steeped in intention and heart — but also honours you as a couple and all those who came before you.
My goal is to capture your unique day authentically and respectfully, and help you remember how special your wedding day was – long after it’s over.