Alexa Hatanaka: "In thinking about the content for this wall we wanted to do
something that was meaningful to all three of us. We know Parr from going up to
Nunavut and doing workshops in his community, Cape Dorset. His community is
very well known for art, actually. They have the oldest running original print
making shop; and also many carvers- it's a prolific community!"
Parr Josephee: "The narwhal is a big part of our life up north. It is also our
traditional food. All of my ancestors ate it and we still eat it. We are
afraid that the narwhal are going to die or be driven away because the noise is
too loud and too strong. 90% of the narwhal population are there are are going
to be affected by where they are looking for oil. It's our food and that's how
we live. How would they like it if we went there and took all of THEIR
Alexa: "The community of Clyde River is fighting seismic blasting in their
waters. The purpose of the seismic testing is to try to find oil. The three of
us were thinking about this as a group- how to make a piece in solidarity with
this group; and of course very meaningful to Parr. 90% of the world's narwhal
are in that area, among other marine life. Those animals would be very much
threatened by the seismic testing; and therefore the Inuit way of life would
also be threatened. That's something that resonates with Parr and is close to
our hearts too because of all the time we have spent in the North and how close
we are to our friends there."
"The piece is representing slices (cross sections) of land. A narwhal and a
human are also presented and visually treated the same to show their
interconnectivity, You cannot separate humans and the land from the animals.
They are seen as one and living as one. Healthier, together. Visually they all
display the exact same gradient of colour layers. They are all interdependent
"And it's all held within this lung shapes and the heart is in the middle. The
shape of the heart here is kind of representative of what it looks like with an
explosion underwater; but that's a bit more abstract- that's where the heart
should be! Patrick painted a little explosion (see the top front side layer of
the land) representing seismic cannon blasting. Below that section is a
textbook image depiction of seismic mapping."
"The human figure is Parr's drawing. It's actually a self portrait of him
catching a sturgeon fish. Earlier this summer he went with us to Northern
Ontario and caught his first fish there! It was a cool experience for him
because in this community their issue right now is the amount of damming of the
river for hydro electricity. This fish have a lot of mercury in them from the
flooding of the river and we are losing the fish. Interesting for him to go tom
another community and see how other indigenous communities have to fight to
protect what happens on their land and therefore their ability to persist their
way of life and pass on knowledge and their culture between generations."
"So this piece is about the North but also points to the fact that there is a