'Sunrise on Ma'iingan'
The first light of day begins to seep through the fabric of the nylon tent. As you crawl out from your slumber and turn your gaze forward, the landscape rushes into view. To your left you are flanked by a large red pine and as you look out across the small bay to the opposite shore you see the sun start to rise above the grey-white quartzite rocks. As it rises, you notice the red-oxide stained rocks at the edge of the teal-coloured water. You are at Ma’iingan Sawgihayguning. Translated as “Wolf at the place of the lake,” this piece was inspired by the Wolf Lake region in the Temagami wilderness. This experience of waking up in the early morning “on trip,” and the landscape described, could just as easily be in any number of equally revered regions in “canoe country” such as the water routes in and around Algonquin, the Kawarthas, Killarney, Lake Superior and the Quetico/Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
“Being a First Nations artist working in an abstract traditional style means that my art and the images I render will always be more ‘interpretation’ than ‘imitation.’ However, I try to keep some elements of familiarity, whether it is landscape components or animals. So for my pARTners contribution, I knew that I wanted very much to render and make recognizable the emblematic features of Wolf Lake and the Chiniguchi region. I am satisfied that I accomplished this as it is laid out in the description above. And being of Anishinabek descent, I also thought it was important and appropriate to use the traditional name for Wolf Lake, the name the ancestral architects of the nastawgan networks bestowed upon it: Ma’iingan Sawgihayguning (Wolf at the place of the lake).”