• Artist: Cheryl L'Hirondelle
  • Medium: Interactive Installation
  • Project Type: Commissioned Project
  • Neighbourhood: Downtown

embers/sparks for the female giants who came before, for the women who continue to lead the way - and for the sacredness of the sky-beings

Location

100 Queen St W

  • Address: 100 Queen
  • Intersection: Bay St & Queen St W
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible
  • Schedule: October 2 to 10 from 8 to 11 p.m.

The Project

Inspired by Cheryl L’Hirondelle’s past work yahkâskwan mîkiwahp (aka Light Tipi), iskocês: okihcihtâw-iskwêw-kamik ohci is a special iteration of Light Tipi for Nathan Phillips Square. This Tipi is to honour okâwîmâw (great mother aka nikawiy askiy – mother earth), plus the female giants and the frontrunners: the women who lead the way, care for us and for those who keep the home fire burning. Throughout the night the tipi will be illuminated with activity both in the physical realm and as a portal through the use of augmented reality. Sparks will take the form of performances by invited artists: singers, poets, activists, knowledge keepers and dreamers! For nêhiyawak (Cree people), each of the 15 poles of a mîkiwahp (tipi) has a value that when tied together into the holistic, life affirming structure that a tipi is, contributes to the wellbeing and survival of those who reside within. The tipi symbolizes an old woman sitting, covered with a shawl. She is the grandmother who embodies all the teachings of each of the values and of the structure itself, and who ensures the best, most life-affirming future for generations yet-to-come. This work honours women, men, nonbinary individuals and the sacredness of sky-beings too!

The Artist

Cheryl L’Hirondelle (Cree/Halfbreed; German/Polish): interdisciplinary artist, singer-songwriter, thinker! Her family roots are from Papaschase First Nation / amiskwaciy wāskahikan (Edmonton) and Kikino Métis Settlement, AB. Her work investigates and articulates a dynamism of nēhiyawin (Cree worldview) in contemporary time-place incorporating Indigenous language(s), music, audio, video, VR, sewn objects, the olfactory, and audience/user participation to create immersive environments towards ‘radical inclusion’ and decolonization. Cheryl has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the 2021 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Art.

Acknowledgements

Saskatchewan Arts Board and the Canada Council for the Arts.