Canadian (born in U.S.A.), b. 1948
The Great Race, from the series Voice in the Blood, 1989
acrylic on canvas
122 x 122 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from The Winnipeg Art Gallery Foundation Inc.
According to the artist, this painting depicts an old Aborginal legend about the struggle between two-legged beings and four-legged beings for domination of the earth. To settle the dispute a two-legged being and a four-legged being ran a race around the Black Hills of North Dakota, an area considered to be the heart of the Lakota Nation. Approximately 800 kilometres long, the ancient track is still visible and occasionally, to this day, this mythical race is re-enacted. The winner of this competition was the two-legged magpie who, after riding on the back of the great four-legged beast for most of the race, jumped over the finish line. As a consequence, the four-legged creatures agreed to live peacefully on earth with the two-legged creatures.