Wanuskewin art installation mimics traditional maze used to trap lynx
Project brings Dene culture to Saskatoon heritage park
Part art installation, part historical model, a maze inspired by the traditional trap used to catch lynx and other animals has found a home at Wanuskewin Heritage Park.
The project is the brainchild of Ezaneh's mother, Saskatoon artist Michele Mackasey. Originally from Ontario, she has lived there for parts of the past several decades. When she was offered a two-year grant from Common Weal Community Arts to be the artist-in-residence in the English River community of Patuanak, Sask., she accepted immediately.
Mackasey said the guidance of elders such as the late Jacob Estralshenen was key to the two-year project. She said she got more and more excited as the installation took shape this month.
"I felt like a little kid getting ready for Christmas. It's so much work, but it was just so fun," she said.
Ezaneh said it's essential to preserve the memory of traditional Indigenous practices. She said putting the project together "felt like a bridge to the past."
The exhibit is bolstered by the photos by English River member Percy Paul, as well as the video and interactive components of Quebec artist Manuel Chantre.
It will be on display at Wanuskewin until October.
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