Canadian, b. 1942
33 x 67 x 20 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from The Winnipeg Foundation and the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Joe Fafard’s sculptures are made in response to experiencing real life. His technique reflects folk art traditions, deliberately rejecting the sophisticated concerns of high art. In this work the artist explores the interrelationship of people and place by naming a figurative sculpture after a Canadian province. Manitoba is represented by an Aboriginal man, symbolizing the long history of Aboriginal people in the Prairie region and their ancient connection to the land. In the Cree and Ojibwa languages, Manitoba means “strait of the spirit.” By using a human figure to symbolize a territory, Fafard reminds us that landscape is as much about the people who inhabit it as the lakes and vegetation that define it.