Monday, 12 October 2015

Anemki Wikwed Screenprint

A year in the making, and still counting.
What began as a trail map of the mountain where I grew up, based off of an electronic trail map my neighbor made. Theses trails that I have been hiking and snowshoeing up my entire life, trails that connect homes, families, landmarks, and even mythology.
Very early in the project, it came time to write in the common name for an inland lake, which was named by a Scotsman after a lake in Scotland. It was immediately apparent that I would not be continuing the propagation of colonial name's with my Art.
Through my Art I can make a criticism of the actions of people who cemented a certain idea of history through their influence. And possibly create a positive pathway.
I began researching documents from the 1600-1800s. A simple trail map snowballed into great curiosity and a winter of research into the history of my home. Drawn in calligraphy and ink.

This undertaking led me down a river of research, and history, quite literally, the paths I followed were waterways; the original roads. French fur trading maps from the 1600's, with titles, Bay du Tonnerre, Lac Tracy Superieur, and Caministigoa, or Kaministigouian ou les trois rivieves
The "Kaministiquia" river, was consistently given title on every map dating back to the the oldest.
The spelling changed, but unlike many other landmarks that held translated Ojibway names (Lac Du Superieur), or entirely new names. The Kaministiquia held strong its Ojibway namesake to this day.
 Documented in a number of texts translated as, "River with islands", "where the rivers meet", "River of many mouths"
This was of added symbolic interest to me as I grew up between the Kaministiquia river and Anemki Wajiw, swimming in the waters and climbing the mountain. 

Regarding the language being of the oral tradition, many different spellings exist to this day.
Frederic Baraga`s, ``A Dictionary of The Ojibway Language`` from 1853, has been a great resource for cross checking the words and translations.

With thanks to Mary J. L. Black, who was a Librarian of Fort William in the early 1900's. Through her interest in the topic, research and interviews it is that these names exist in documented form.

Reference Material:

Me and my Dad then began building large silkscreens in the garage wood shop. I burned through many screens and variants of the final map, which is now a two color screen.

Thunder Bay in Ojibway. <Anemki Wikwed>Using information documented by the Local Librarian Mary J.L. Black, almost a Century ago.
16x20 Silkscreen and Watercolor.

Version 4 (final version) two screen print with watercolor

Version 4 two screen print with watercolor

Version 3 : one screen print

Version 2(Thunderbird Version) ink drawing 16x20

Trial prints hanging in the basement work-space


  1. Wow, that's such a beautiful map! I really love the amount of time and effort you put in your work. Also, this is one of the more interesting blogs I've come across. However, sometimes I think you are speaking a different language. Like, for example, what do you mean by "Mythology", capital M? Also, why do you randomly capitalize certain nouns? Is it to mimic a more archaic way of writing? No judgement about how you do things, I'm just curious about your way of thinking...

  2. Thank You, that's a very nice thing to say about my blog and work. About the Mythology I speak of. It is a very old legend which was passed down through oral history in which great beings(Binesi), lived within in the clouds on top of Thunder Mountain(Anemki Wajiw). It is because of the Binesi living here that thunder and lightning are so common. I'm not sure why I write the way I do, creativity without technical skill's? I agree I find it confusing at times myself, that is why I am constantly going back and editing.