From Writing on Stone to Zama City, the one thing that unites the entire province of Alberta is the immense beauty of the skies we live under. The two project artists, Dawn Marie Marchand and Jay Bigam have been recreating these skies and landscapes in their work for years. The Shared Skies project provides a unique opportunity for them to explore the creative process by combining their work into something that is new, while retaining their distinctive styles.
The artists hope to do far more than simply create and install works for this project. The project has many layers of meaning and intent. It is cross cultural, inclusive of Indigenous peoples of the area and the general public.
Dawn Marie Marchand and Jay Bigam met when they worked together to fundraise for the families affected by the wildfire in Fort McMurray.
“Since that time, I have been following his work and often thought that his work and my work would be compatible…
There needs to be a stronger willingness to work together where space for independence and autonomy are respected. Is it possible to create something that is distinctly uniquely Jay and uniquely Dawn Marie while also still being willing to adjust to each other enough to create symmetry and cohesion? Is it possible to model reciprocity through the artwork. I believe that blending our own unique styles and working to honour each other’s work it is possible. Jay can bring his incredible skylines forward; I will work with his linework and use the horses to pay recognition to the territorial memory…” Dawn Marie
“Initially drawn to her powerful art, I began to follow Dawn Marie on social media. Her strong voice for both Indigenous and women’s issues made me take a long look at just what it means to live in Treaty 6 territory. I realized too often the conversation” is very much one sided, with Indigenous voices and especially Indigenous women’s voices being ignored or not heard at all. I have looked for a project that actually models this process of shared responsibility and not merely pays lip service. The opportunity to work with Dawn Marie is this. A project of equals, sharing and of learning both artistic and cultural knowledge. Rather than a melding of styles that form a new, this project seeks to present a coherent whole, while allowing the strengths of each artist to be displayed.” Jay
“We are excited by this project which will be an exciting growth through the sharing of artistic space and collaboration between a non-Indigenous and Indigenous artist pushing us to work hard to make things harmonious aesthetically, with the community the artwork resides and reflect Alberta back to itself.”
The artists are looking for partners to bring their vision to a wider audience. They envision large scale pieces in public areas. For more information send them a note on the Contact Page