By Jeremy Appel, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The installation consists of three 16-foot sculptures representing Grandfather Sun, Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon, respectively labelled “Rest,” “Renewal” and “Dreamed,” with each holding an orb of light. Each sculpture uses a different colour palette.
“It’s an exploration of that moment of solstice, where the sun is at its lowest, the moon is at its highest, and Mother Earth is right in the middle of that, a beautiful balance between the two,” Carter told Alberta Native News.
“Traditionally, at the darkest time of the year is when we take that time of rest to assess how the year has gone, reflect on the past six months and dream about the future of the next six months.”
He told CBC News, “It’s about bringing light to the darkest night of the year, as well.”
Carter says public art allows him to “flex those creative muscles and push myself as an artist,” while also serving as a means of expressing his culture, exploring Indigenous iconography.
“It’s really important to share the culture and my artwork is definitely inspired by it, and me being an Indigneous man, it totally reflects and affects my work,” said Carter, who hails from Little River Cree Nation south of the Caribou Mountains.
Carter said he began his career as a stone sculptor, but branched out by painting pictures of his sculptures on solid colour canvas.
“That’s where the whole style evolved and grew from, with that need to fill the space with colour to supplement my carving show,” he said.
Carter is in the midst of his latest project, which involves painting 150 hockey sticks for Hockey Canada.
Puneeta McBryan, executive director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association, told CBC News that art installations like Carter’s benefit all the nearby businesses that are re-opening after almost two years of uncertainty.
“When we can add some light, add some moments of joy, it makes it much easier to get people down and supporting small businesses,” said McBryan.
Carter’s Winter Solstice sculptures will be on display at Churchill Square until Jan. 3.
The theme at Sir Winston Churchill Square is “the more, the merrier” this holiday season with special activities on Saturday nights including lights, music, art and Christmas cheer. Plan to visit the Square on December 20 for a multitude of fun family activities happening from noon to 8pm.
Get tickets on the Holiday Light Up Express Train, listen to live musical performances, enjoy winter activities with the Art Gallery of Alberta, John Janzen Nature Centre, and The Reuse Centre, or enjoy an outdoor video screening of the Citadel Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. Check the full schedule online.