Self Portrait

Commissioned by Earl Bennett; donated to Yukon Arts Centre Gallery Permanent Collection, 2009

Cicero once said, “Life is short, but art lives forever.” This sculpture represents an artist’s life and legacy: in the end, they leave their bones (the bronze wolf skull) and their art (the carved musk oxen skull). Interesting note: wolves and musk oxen have co-existed in the arctic for thousands of years, symbiotic. (Perhaps similar to the relationship between artists and their art?)

Duality elements are formed into the sides of the bronze wolf skull to represent the source of the artist’s life and work, written in the bones. The musk oxen horns, which represent the artist’s artistic legacy in the larger sculpture, contain a sculptural narrative of their own – an abstractly rendered life: from birth (the left black tip) to middle age (the centre gap between the two horns), maturity and then death (represented by the right black tip). The curved elements (feelings, relationships) and angular elements (thoughts, learned concepts) on the left horn represent the formation of self and its tentative, creative efforts at identity, relationships and life-work. The gap between the two horns represents the mid-life crisis, a time to reassess life and make changes.The design on the right horn is more complicated and yet more unified than that on the left. It signals a consolidation of self-identity and the bringing to fruition ones life-work.

Collaborations:  Lineage (an ekphrastic poem based on Self Portrait) written by Gillian Sze PhD, spoken word rendition by Cat (Catherine) Kidd.

Publications:  Arabella; Ice Floe II: International Poetry of the Far North (cover); Algonquin Art Centre News; Wildlife Art Journal; Trophy Rooms from Around the World: Vol 5; From Portrait to Self Portrait: Vol 3

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