Stone

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.

 

Stone is based on a moment on the walk where each participant picked up a pebble they were drawn to and held it over their heart. We shared the first emotion that came up when holding the pebble and allowed the stone to become a microphone for our internal struggles and joys. On the top of the banner is my personal interpretation of a spirit or guide that exists within all of us. Through its third eye, it is connecting to a small sparrow tucked inside its belly. Sparrows are songbirds and I have used this bird to represent the awakening of communication and heart.