“I see making art as a way of organizing chaos. Sometimes within the chaos of making a painting, a symbol in the shape of a moose or a caribou will walk through my consciousness in a form that resembles an ancient petroglyph. My work is inspired by the ancient petroglyphs that were painted by my ancestors on stone walls in caves as a way to capture and respect the spirit of the subject,” Syliboy says. “When I paint them I feel I am channeling a way to bring their spirits back into our consciousness. Once, these drawings were predominant and lived within our culture. Today they are no longer apparent in their original environments, but I believe the earth has a memory of the spirits they contained. My work lives in the moment but is profoundly influenced by the past which gives me my bearings as an artist and as a human being. My ancestors have provided me with a spiritual global navigation system and I like to believe that what I do helps to keep the spirits evolving.”
About Dream Canoe (video above)
“Sometime in the mid-80’s, I was visiting the Afton reserve, where I had developed many lasting friendships. I came upon the Prosper kids playing in a canoe on a summer’s day,” Syliboy says. “This instantly took me back to many summer days of my childhood where I did the exact same thing. But now, I was an observer. I was lucky to have my camera with me and that I went unnoticed (which would have broken the spell). This is the closest I’ll ever come to re-living a moment of my childhood. This painting will forever take us back to a warm summer’s day on a voyage with your best friends.”
Come meet the artist tomorrow and discover the Metepenagiag Heritage Park. Experience Mi’kmaq culture that has existed here for over 30 centuries. Share their music and listen to their oral history as handed down through generations by Mi’kmaq Elders. Walk the trails in the footsteps of ancestors overlooking the river that has sustained them since time immemorial.