A mixing of worlds

Apu Pachatusan in Cusco, Peru © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

My name is Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand. I was born in 1995 and I live in Montréal. I make drawings, objects and music under the name La Cucurucha. Many of the images I draw have a synchretic component, a mixing of worlds, weird combinations of elements, funny situations, or magical and sacrilegious elements coexisting. Some are about love, women in relationship with men, our relationship with nature.

I believe everything is alive, everything has a spirit, and everything is porous.

I like to draw magical experiences I have had. I find superstitions inspiring. I am fascinated with how we humans relate to where we come from… feelings of distance and closeness.

I think someone can be a million things at the same time, as we absorb the world around us and are connected to our many ancestors.

Poplar is my favourite tree

Mon arbre préféré © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

Every plant has a spirit. We have to respect each of these spirits.

Imposible morir

Juntas siempre © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

A story about my late dog Casa… I helped her nurse her babies when she had them because she had 14 puppies and only 8 nipples. Nine puppies survived.

Poundmaker First Nation, Saskatchewan © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand
Casa © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

Casa’s favourite toys © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand


Raíces © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

Family mythology about where my Peruvian ancestors came from. My Italian great, great grandfather’s boat is said to have burned off the shore of Lima. He was working on the boat with his family. They had to settle there.

On the turtle’s back © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

The couple on the turtle’s back: my personal romanticization of my intertwined roots. Idealizing a settler-colonizer as a beautiful strong protective man and the Native woman as a strong and beautiful woman is my way of laughing at my own identity turmoils. The turtle represents Turtle Island (obviously!). This picture is about love, maybe impossible love, or true love.

We rarely touch the same water © Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand

More on the artist

Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand is artistic director of Miyawata Culture, an Indigenous cultural and performance centre. Her film Ashes and Embers incorporates archival material and interviews with some of the survivors of the Delmas Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, burned to the ground by three of its students in 1948. She illustrated a book of their stories, Ashes and Embers (2022) and a book entitled The Story of Broken Knife Lookout (2021), both written by Floyd Favel and published by Miyawata Culture Association Inc. Alix is currently working on a graphic novel with her father, Carlos Ferrand.

To follow Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand’s art and videos, please visit her website.

For more on Alix’s songs (on Soundcloud):

Montréal multimedia artist Alix Van Der Donckt-Ferrand creates drawings and objects, takes photos, and makes music under the name La Cucurucha. In 2021, Alix did the drawings and animation for the short film by Nicolas Renaud, Onyionhwentsïio’. In 2019, she created the Centre du Rat, a community art centre at the foot of Mount Royal. For more on Alix’s art, book illustrations and videos, please visit her website.