I delivered a few tiny tipis to the Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond. Gosh, I love that place. The people I meet there every time are always extremely interesting and the gallery carries the most beautiful things. It's a favorite place to pick up gifts.
Whenever I travel to Black Diamond I have to stop at the Okotoks Erratic, (okotok means 'big rock' in the Blackfoot language) the big rock that Big Rock Brewery was named after. This rock has been such an inspiration for me as it is this massive quartzite that has been plunked into the middle of a field bare of trees during the ice age and is the world's largest glacial erratic. I wish I could convey the sheer size of it.
The pictographs on it has inspired much of the mark-making in my work and there is definitely something sacred about being near it. Just knowing it has been here for over 10,000 years and was used as a tool for communication by Indigenous Peoples makes it feel very special.
This is the Blackfoot story of how the rock split in half:
One hot summer day, Napi, the supernatural trickster of the Blackfoot peoples, rested on the rock because the day was warm and he was tired. He spread his robe on the rock, telling the rock to keep the robe in return for letting Napi rest there. Suddenly, the weather changed and Napi became cold as the wind whistled and the rain fell. Napi asked the rock to return his robe, but the rock refused. Napi got mad and just took the clothing. As he strolled away, he heard a loud noise and turning, he saw the rock was rolling after him. Napi ran for his life. The deer, the bison and the pronghorn were Napi's friends, and they tried to stop the rock by running in front of it. The rock rolled over them. Napi's last chance was to call on the bats for help. Fortunately, they did better than their hoofed neighbours, and by diving at the rock and colliding with it, one of them finally hit the rock just right and it broke into two pieces.
AIRdirondack Art Project
Alberta (above) +