THE DANCING GROUNDS AT WANUSKEWIN: The Billboard Project July 9, 2016


On July 9, 2016, as part of The Dancing Grounds exhibit at Wanuskewin, my work Metamorphosis 2011, 2015 was produced as a billboard located at 424 20th Street West, Saskatoon. The Billboard Project was in partnership with Wanuskewin Galleries, PAVED arts, and AKA Gallery. Thanks to everyone involved who made this opportunity possible.

My artist statement for the show:

n 2015 I completed a long-term project that began when I saw my first powwow in the late 1970s and was captivated by the feather bustles worn by the traditional dancers. My research on the history and cultural significance of the bustle resulted in a portrait project titled “Strong Hearts.” It also spurred me to explore the pre-contact indigenous society named by archaeologists the “Mississippians.”

The Mississippians were a highly evolved society that developed a warrior tradition around a mythological figure called the Birdman, who represented the spiritual bond between warriors and birds of prey. In the spring of 2015 I had the opportunity to study and photograph Mississippian-made objects at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. When I received an invitation to exhibit my work at the Wanuskewin Heritage Centre, I took it as a sign to renew the “Strong Hearts” series and update it with my new Birdman research.


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