Fallen Tree

acrylic on birch board
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.

Fallen Tree  based off of one of the ‘points of interest’ Casey and Paul stopped at during the nature walk. When asking us to observe what may look like a dead fallen tree, we were instead taught its sustenance and continuation of life. With this insight, we were asked to reflect on the emotional symbolism behind this tree. Not only was there an abundance of new growth on the tree and surrounding it, we were reminded of the regeneration of life. With this we contemplated our own strengths, our internal spirit, and our beauty and imperfections.