Saturday, October 6, 2012
I've followed up my home province print with the home province of my mother: Manitoba.
The provincial animal the bison and flower the prairie crocus (Anemone patens) cover the hand-carved map of Manitoba in this linocut. The block was inked 'à la poupée' (with different colours, pale violet, umber and brown, in different areas) and printed by hand on lovely Japanese kozo (or mulberry) paper. Each print is 23.5 cm by 31.8 cm (9.25" by 12.5"). The print is one of an edition of seven.
It's no mystery how the bison could symbolize this prairie province. Manitoba is one of the few places where one can still find free-ranging herds of woods and plains bison. The early spring flower, Anemone patens, known as the "Prairie Crocus" was chosen by the school children as the floral emblem of the province in 1906. I imagined a bison roaming a field replete with prairie crocuses. I was sure to include Lake Winnepeg, Lake Manitoba through Lake Winnipegosis to Cedar Lake and even Reindeer Lake, because they are part of the arc of immense lakes extending from the Great Lakes which are cut into the fabric of this country.