Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Sentinels Of The NorthWest Passage" - A #canada150 project.

(This page was updated, corrected, shuffled February 13, 2017 - 1930'ish PM EST)

 Please use this page's "url", to link from social media, etc.
     Please comment below and help me with this conversation. I am particularly interested in hearing from other #CanadianArtists, #IndigenousArtists, about contributing ideas, criticism and feedback; perhaps other installations, under the #SOTNWP umbrella.


     I had not heard about #Canada150, until late last year, but I've had an idea in mind, for a long time, that I believe will resonate strongly with fundamental, current streams of Canadian consciousness, in relationship to "The North". Things such as:
  1. - "Northern Sovereignty"
  2. - Global climate change
  3. - "Reconciliation"
  4. - Canada's immediate and future need to exploit the landbase and its historic Treaty obligations, commitments, debts(?).
  5. - Indigenous contribution to "Canadian content" and #CanadianCulture
  6. -"Identity/Indigenous Identity/Canadian Identity"
   I will go into further detail, below. I am posting this as a working draft page, to flesh out the idea. Please forward this link and return to see what's new.

Sentinels of the NorthWest Passage” 

     ... is an idea/project to create and install monumental #CanadianIndigenous sculpture at both ends of the NorthWest Passage, to welcome and remind passersby, that they are entering Canadian and Indigenous territory

     In my imagination, the pieces will reflect the rising and setting suns and be lit at night, functioning as a visual navigation marker. Eventually, such installations could be installed all along the #NWP , all over the Northern Archipelago.  #SovereigntyMarkers.

     In light of the challenges of climate change, Canadian, Inuit and First Nations territorial waters are going to be increasingly traversed by foreign ships; those passing-through, some intruding and others bringing tourism and other economic opportunities and cultural challenges to “The North”.

     I may be an Indigenous artist, but I recognise that I am also a “Southerner”, who grew up with a romantic notion of the Arctic and its peoples. The project will seek to work with local people in identifying appropriate locations for sculptural installation, the "story of the location" and as recruiting ground for the authors of future installations, to grow the size and impact of the “Sentinel” sites. 

"project description"

*     The first phase of my plan is to have 2 of my pieces installed, at both ends, within 3 years. I see the first piece having a  "Visitor on a Quest, from the South" kind of feel, for the #canada150 year. A bronze #Thunderbird, blazing red heart; set on a gleaming pedestal, glowing in the first light of day.

My current plan for the second piece is to consult with local community and representative artists to develop a collaborative design

My initial thought for the second piece is a Snowy Owl. I always liked the Inuit imagery that were available to me, as a child. They are part of my awakening to #art. [Thank you Grandma Edith and Grandpa Charlie and the DEWLINE.] It is a great juxtaposition with my great #Bird from #TheSouth. :)

     I see a prominent, barren hillside, apparently bare of plants, but studded with glinting treelike things, in the distance. As we get closer, individual sculptures resolve and invite scrutiny. This is a painted representation of a #ThunderBirdSculpture, set low in greener hills.  :)

Detail from "Former PPP..." #painting. #thunderbird #sculpture

   For the third phase of #SOTNWP, I want to identify and help fund the creation of other installations by myself, local and Canadian-wide #IndigenousArtists to fill the other locations, eventually, covering the major entry/exit points of  our waterway.

Have someone take over the project, eventually

*     Fourth phase; individual installation sites become multi-installation sites, evolve.


     I suggest 9 strategic locations, which could also function as visual navigational beacons and eventually tourist destinations;

Symbolic Canadian Indigenous Sentinels, to watch and welcome.

   Identified as potential installation sites; based only on my #googleearth skills and personal geographic judgement. 

SentinelCandidate1 75°52'12.06"N 122°23'56.72"W (West end main "gate")
SentinelCandidate2 74°20'59.90"NSentinel candidate 8 70°37'31.77"N 128°15'22.50"W (West end) 124°40'37.04"W (West end main "gate")
SentinelCandidate4 73°32'57.00"N 77°26'3.61"W (East end main "gate")
Sentinelcandidate6  74°35'11.03"N  80°19'14.76"W (East end main "gate")

SentinelCandidate3 71° 4'57.98"N 123° 7'1.18"W (West end)
Sentinel candidate 8 70°37'31.77"N 128°15'22.50"W (West end)

SentinelCandidate5 60°41'8.56"N 64°35'9.37"W (East end PQ?)

Sentinel candidate 7 61°19'7.80"N 64°53'7.88"W (East end main "gate")

Sentinel candidate 8 70°37'31.77"N 128°15'22.50"W (West end)
Sentinel candidate 9 82°28'17.38"N 61°33'50.78"W  (Alert)

Thanks to #googleearth for the pic. (right click and open in new tab for large pic.)

candidate sites for #SentinelsOfTheNorthWestPassage - #GoogleEarth

"project challenges/opportunities"

     I hope to gain local permission to create a permanent sculptural installation on their lands, from a distance, as a personal outreach for collaboration, from this Canadian; whom has always taken "the North", for granted. Much the same as most of us Southerners. 

     Getting permission for a site installation and getting the first piece cast and paid-for would be a first year win. Actually getting it installed by the end of 2017 would takee some #canada150 voodoo. A reasonable goal is to have it installed by the end of a "project year" timeline, in 2018.

     Some of the funding options that I am considering, are: art grants (of course, but months out. New CCA model looks promising.), crowdsourcing (Is this a "kickstarter-possible" project? , private/public donations, sale of existing artwork.

     There are 3 things that I am asking of whomever has had the curiosity to read, this far: 

a) Find out whose permission I need, to install a lighted, monumental sculpture at the 9 non-random points, listed in my blogpost, at the #Canadian Federal, Nunavut, and local Indigenous level. 
      I'm thinking, that someone who loves this idea, in the Nunavut  and/or NorthWest Territories governments...  would be great to find.

b) Find people who have large boats, crew and capability to install monumental sculpture in the remotest locations.

c) Find or remember money that needed to be spent on art; corporate/organaisation budgets often have mandated lines for art spending. There are ready to hang paintings and new sculpture in the studio, and I am working on project limited editions in 2D and 3D.  

     The first thing the crowd can help me with is finding the right government eyeballs and juice to grant me a location. A location(s) , with a consideration to future possible installations on the same site as size consideration. Imagine sculpture parks alongs the #NorthWestPassage as the tourist attraction of the 22'rd century. Area, acreage... not too far from the water, a little altitude, electrical source installed and paid-for, to run the big red navigational light on my #Thunderbird. Why a T-Bird theme?  It's a visitor from the South and the West, a familiar motif in my work, as well.  

"project timeline/budget construction"

"comment replies"


Call to Action: 

I need some attention. An approving letter would be nice, non-dismissive encouragement is probably a more reasonable start.

- #CanadianIndigenousArtists, partricularly #NWT/ #Nunavut #FirstNations and #Inuit, please spread the idea, if you like it, or at least warm to it.

- If you know the local people whose territory my locations are at, can you let then know and get back to me?
- If you know the premieres of NWT, Nunavut, PQ... could you ask them to take a look at the map and see if any of those sites are kosher? Or have an intern do it, that kinda thing....
- If you know the PM (#Canada), you know...

Way above my contact list.