Dandelion

acrylic on birch panel
12 in. x 24 in.
2016

Commissioned by Calgary Public Art for their Centre City Banner Program in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary focusing on how Canadian wilderness affects and shapes Canadian identity. I worked closely with Blackfoot Elder Casey EagleSpeaker and Stoney/Nakoda Elder Paul Daniels in planning a community Nature Walk which explored how individuals see nature integrating into their lives. Leading the walk, Casey and Paul focused on the relationship to the land, both historical and present. The walk presented participants with a deeper meaning of the environment as it relates to people. All six of these designs were informed by the teachings and reflections shared at this event.

Dandelion is based on the concept of healing. Casey and Paul described how the milk of a dandelion has a three day window where it can be harvested as a medicine to treat cancer. Casey also described the traditional use of the dandelion as a guide by a Medicine Man to help read symbols in a vision quest. Some other plants mentioned with healing properties were Chokecherry and Saskatoon berry. Both of these plants are used for the flu, rashes, and cold and cough. In my design you will see an interpretation of a Medicine Man whos face is covered in dandelions. A larger dandelion plant surrounds him and is growing from/through lungs.