Honey Suckle

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.

Honey Suckle, a ‘grandparent plant’ represents the importance of family. When we stopped at a Honeysuckle tree, Casey and Paul stated that the flower can be mixed with cedar in ceremony to bring home together. It calls children back home to their ‘nest’. In my design I have included a common bird to Calgary, the Cedar Waxwing. This bird perches on top of a nest with honeysuckle flowers growing from its mouth. Below the nest is a Cedar Waxwing hatchling being fed the sustenance of the flower.