Canadian, b. 1965
My Grandfather's Shoes, 1993
colour photograph on paper
195 x 49 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor
Arthur Renwick’s work is a personal response to the clearing of a site for suburban development in conjunction with a copper mining project that occurred in Kitimat, British Columbia, during the fall of 1992. The shoes Renwick wears were passed on to him in a spiritual ceremony following the death of his grandfather. The eagle circling overhead represents the family crest of West Coast First Nations people. Presented in symbolic totemic format, Renwick’s photograph emphasizes the toll on a landscape devastated by the pursuit of copper. In addition, the work also references that copper is a metal highly respected and honoured by West Coast Aboriginal people. This piece bears witness to the breaking of the circle of life by the disregard for the spiritual healing process and the environment.