Every November, the auxiliary society of our local hospital puts on community craft fair to give local artisans a venue to sell their wares. I don't think that my sisters, my mom and I have missed this fair since we moved to Kamloops, and I'm really glad that my visit home coincided with the fair.
Especially since today, I WON SOMETHING.
It was so thrilling! I don't ever win anything, and today just after walking through the doors of the arena, a lady grabbed my arm and pulled me aside and said that I'd been chosen as a winner, and I could have a $20 gift certificate valid for one of the craft tables of my choosing.
My choices were I could put my $20 towards a hand-tooled leather belt (nay); towards a hand knit child's toque (not likely); towards some children's wooden toys (again, no way); towards some hand made soaps and bath salts (maybe); towards a Christmas ornament booth (a contender); towards a sewing and woodworking booth (the lady tried hard to sell me on this one); or to an art booth that sold First Nations prints (SOLD).
As the lady told me about the art booth, she said that she thought the prints would be good for children's rooms because 'the pictures are really bright, sort of childlike'. To which I clarified, 'you mean most of the prints are in primary colours?' Yes, yes! She thought they were so pretty and bright, they'd be good in a child's bedroom.
Isn't art so funny and subjective? She was foaming at the mouth over the sewing and woodworking booth while I was thinking too country, but she thought a picture that was largely in primary colours was good for children's rooms while I was thinking living room. A nice bright cheery picture in the living room!
I am so glad I picked the gift certificate I did, because I LOVE the picture that I got.
'The Spirit Rests'
Artist: Jim Logan
When I approached the booth this was the first picture that jumped out at me, but then I got really overwhelmed with all the other choices.
Native art from all across Canada was featured at this booth, and it was so cool to see the different styles. Of course I was initially drawn to the Haida art, as that is the style I am most familiar with and recognize quite easily. But all the prints had different styles, and there was an agonizing ten minutes when I kept going between this print and one that pictured a polar bear twisted against a navy blue, starlit sky. The polar bear print was cool because if you looked closely at the shading distinctions on the body, you could see that it was actually different impressions of Inuit life that comprised the polar bear as a whole.
The man behind the counter told me some interesting tales and gave me the stories behind the different pictures. The story behind this picture is that in the Yukon Territory, the Native peoples placed their dead in 'spirit houses' and usually these spirit houses are fenced, and are quite colourful. There are two major clans in the Yukon: Crose (also known as Raven), and Wolf. The raven symbolizes 'Creator' and the wolf, 'Brother'. When the deceased are placed in the spirit houses, the house will be adorned with a carving from one of these clans. As you can see in this picture, it is the Raven clan that is symbolized.
The fact that all the pictures had such great mythology behind them didn't help with the decision making, and when the man he saw how racked with indecision I was he asked me what picture I was initially drawn to. When I held up The Spirit Rests he told me then that that was the picture I must have.
It was the one.
And it is. I love it.