This week I do not feel so alone in my contemplation of creaturality as I notice that Stefan St. Laurent is showing himself ‘feeding the animals’ at AXENEO7, and today the Ottawa Citizen reviewed the movie ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ which concerns animal rights. It runs for 3 days at the Bytowne, prior to my show at LPM gallery on the 27th.
This week also I received from Fauna Foundation the first volume of ‘the Legends of Fauna’ a journal that documents the lives of the chimps housed there. This first issue is devoted to Pepper who died in June last year. I had requested if it might be possible to work with some of the art-making chimps, and to use some of their art work in conjunction with my own at LPM. here is a self-portrait by Pepper
which is kind of amazing I think. Here is a photo of her in the recent Fauna journal
I feel I can now finish this series.
The painting Ascension, refers in a way to Baroque paintings of the assumption of saints into heaven. (I did not even know that pepper had died until this week!)
However it is also about baboons’ propensities to sing to the sun as it rises in the morning, which is so lovely, and we’d all be better off if we did it too.
I’ve also used the format of the ancient Byzantine-type icon to perhaps memorialize creatures as something holy, and that reflects our sacred relationships to other primates, most of which are held in captivity to climate change, as we are. The female gorilla, or gorilla mama speaks to me as a wild, protective maternity. I hope we can re-find this in our human selves, enough to protect our more-than-human counterparts. Our world involves more-than-human needs. I don’t think we can ignore our losses for too much longer without it biting us back.