Art Dates & Location
July 7th – August 31st
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Saskatoon, SK S7K 3J7
Mary Longman is curated by Sâkêwêwak.
Mary Longman (Aski-Piyesiwiskwew) was born in Fort Qu’Appelle and is a Saulteaux band member of Gordon First Nation. She is an established artist who has been exhibiting nationally and internationally over a course of twenty seven years. Her artistic genres are sculpture/installation, drawing, digital media and book illustration. Her fine art has been exhibited in the most prestigious galleries in North America. Longman’s fine art works are in the collections of the McKenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Saskatchewan Arts Board, Canada Council for the Arts and University of Saskatchewan. Mary Longman is a professor of Studio Art and Aboriginal Art History, and has held senior academic positions as Dean at the White Mountain Academy of Arts in Elliot Lake, Ontario and Department Head of Fine Art at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology in Merritt, BC. She continues to actively exhibit her art work.
Artist Statement, Aski-piyesiwiskwew
Starting a Fire concentrates on the element of fire, extending beyond the literal meaning of fire to the idea of inspiration, and how ideas can bring positive changes to the self and community, building force through the act of acquiring knowledge and creating cultural connections. The work celebrates ancient Indigenous technology as a large re-creation of a fire-starting bow drill and sun dial, formerly interpreted as ‘medicine wheels.’ Ancient time-keeping in Indigenous communities found the stationary point of the north star of Polaris to guide them home, as their ancestors have done for thousands of years. North star is the last star on the handle of the small dipper, also known as Ursa Minor, and straight across is the big dipper, also known as Ursa Major. The work symbolically acknowledges the contributions of Indigenous knowledge to Canada’s people.