Skip to main content


Government of New Brunswick

Natasha Sacobie

Natasha Sacobie is a Wolastoqiyik visual artist living in Bilijk - Kingsclear First Nation. Sacobie's creative practice engages both traditional and contemporary mediums. Working initially in oil painting and beadwork, she was drawn to birch bark and porcupine quillwork, which is now her specialty. Sacobie is best known for her meaningful quillwork that calls attention to respecting and connecting with nature, and all of our relatives. Having graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design she recently completed the Advanced Studio Practice program.

Sacobie’s work is held in both public and private collections. Her works have been shown at the Lieutenant Governor’s House in Fredericton, NB, The George Fry Gallery, the Saint John Arts Center, and the Boston Museum. Natasha Sacobie was awarded the 2023 Heather Stone Emerging Artist Award at the Craft East Buyers Expo and was a recent recipient of an ArtsNB Creation Grant.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I have a passion for biophilia – in simpler terms, the love for all living things, inspired by nature, and all that surrounds me – living and dead. I am a collector of antiques and inspired by the Victorian era. As you can see, it is how I display a lot of my quilled pieces. I love the bright vibrant colors, smells, and being surrounded by the outdoors.

Archival research has played a significant role in my personal work life, and my art practice. I am drawn to being able to step back in time using research as a means for education, but also to recreate what has been lost. I spend a lot of my down time, researching and educating myself.

What drew you to porcupine quills?

Prior to attending NBCCD I was a self-taught oil painter and contemporary bead artist. I gave up my art practice for approximately 7 years, only fulfilling private commissions. At this time, I didn’t experiment much with quills. My in depth practice with quills, began during the Wabanaki Visual Arts program in 2020. In my 2nd year I chose quillwork as my medium of choice. I really struggled with working in other medium. I didn’t take to them, like I did working with quills. I enjoy the entire process of it. From harvesting my quills, cleaning, coloring and bridging this all together to create works.

What do you enjoy most about quillwork?

The intricacy and high-focused work that comes with porcupine quillwork, commands my patience, attention to detail and precision. All of which, is where I excel as an artist. I love creating pieces that lend their way to being different and free-flowing. Creating textures and movement is important in my pieces.

What do you enjoy most about being an artist living in New Brunswick?

Besides the natural beauty that NB has to offer, I love the sense of community coming from a small area. The art scene is really making a presence in New Brunswick and I have been able to witness this flourish in the last few years. New Brunswick embraces a rich cultural diversity providing artists with the exposure to different artistic styles and traditions. The general population is engaged with the local art community. We have a large number of highly talented artists in the area, lending way to collaboration with different groups.

Describe what you are most proud of as an artist.

Pushing through these last 3 years being back in school was an accomplishment. It was definitely a roller coaster, in more ways than one. I’ve watched my practice and skills grow quickly. It has opened many doors, and also formed many friendships. I am thankful for the individuals I have met along this journey and those who I will encounter in the years to come.

I am proud of the pieces I have made for private collections. Knowing that people really enjoy your art makes it worth creating. Having people who I do not know, reach out to inquire about having a commission made is inspiring.

A stepping stone into my creative practice when I finished Wabanaki Visual Arts in 2022 was being asked to be the guest artist in residence for the grand opening of the Harrison McCain Pavilion at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Receiving the 2023 Heather Stone Emerging Artist Award was an unexpected highlight.

What is your artistic approach and/or philosophy to creating art?

My artistic approach to quillwork embraces play between nature and the intricate craftsmanship. While I draw my inspiration and approach from Indigenous traditions, and honoring my cultural heritage, in return I like to remind viewers and those who enjoy my work, the inherent connection to the natural world. The resilience and stories of those who have triumphed over adversity and oppressions over the years inspires me. Additionally, those who are creators in all different mediums are an influence. Watching people push boundaries in their practice fuels passion.

Who is your favourite artist(s) and why?

I have a few favorite artists. I really admire Alex Janvier. Alex has had a profound impact in the arts within Canada. His intricacy in his line work is captivating. His contemporary abstract work expresses Indigenous perspectives, history as well as current issues. He has had a very humble approach from where he came from, to where he is now.

The genre of art that I enjoy varies from fine line work, to tenebrism. I am drawn to work that has dark contrasts which give the viewer a sense of being moody, grim and alluring, such as the works of Miroslav Pecho. I am drawn to traditional methods of art; pencil to paper – charcoals etc. I have great appreciation for artists who work with their hands; ceramics, jewelry, wood etc.

What advice would you give to young, emerging artists?

Remain curious and keep learning and exploring. Take classes that inspire you, read books and surround yourself with those of like values. Embrace any obstacle as a sign of growth and opportunity. Life will have set-backs, but it is how you persevere through them, that will make you come out on top. If you’re a practicing artist, or want to be, always practice consistently. Like anything, artistic ability comes with practice. Be mindful and open when it comes to receiving constructive criticism. Be unique and develop your own personal style. It will become a reflection of who you are. We need more of that in this world.

Where can people connect with you?

Instagram: @kcikakak_art

Love NB arts and culture? Share your favourites. #inspiredbyNB