Inuksuk (2014 - 2017)

This work was inspired by cairns located in the native Innu community of Essipit, which sits along the north shore of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, Canada. The historical context and purpose of the cairn and inuksuk contrasts with the common activity of people recreationally stacking stones to basically say, “I was here.”  Finding an abundance of these little structures along Essipit’s shoreline, I became intrigued by the practice of mark-making in nature and how this relates to form and function, cultural appropriation, the leave-no-trace ethic, and personal passage. Do they beg the question of who and why, or do they challenge the relevance of intent and symbolize the blurring of cultural, spiritual and functional lines? This work follows this line of questioning, blending accurate source imagery directly from Essipit with my own constructions. The contrast between natural and man-made and intentional and accidental helps to guide choices in material, process, mark-making, and color.