This is my tribute to Benjamin Chee Chee, an early member of the Woodland School of Art who died tragically young. I was exposed to the Woodlands artists in my northern home town, whose strong use of colour and line and story telling was a huge inspiration. Every time I walked into the Exhibition Centre I became so excited, my heart would beat rapidly and I couldn't stop smiling. I'm sure the ladies thought I was a little goofy, stopping by every day after school, grinning from ear to ear while I sat and stared at the ever-changing exhibit on the walls. His was the first original artwork I saw, this was the work that inspired me to become a painter.
Number 22 of the 52 WEEKS PROJECT also honours the Canada Goose. The street I was raised on in my northern town was Nisku Bay which is Cree for 'goose'. When I was a senior in high school, my father transferred across the prairies to manage another mine, this time in Alberta. There we lived on a acreage that was surrounded by a creek and small river. Every year, in spring and in fall, the geese would spend a few days on our property, enjoying the creek and the field of wild grasses. They were loud and boisterous and oh so beautiful.
Canada Goose represents nurturing and honouring partners, sharing in all duties. They represent a journey, either physical or symbolic, working together with others.