Sunday, March 24, 2013



The symbols of the Northwest Territories, its territorial symbols the gyrfalcon and mountain avens flowers cover the hand-carved linocut map of NWT. The block was inked 'à la poupée' (with different colours, gray-brown, green and yellow, 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 a variable edition of eight.

NWT is one of three Canadian territories, sandwiched between the Yukon to the west, and Nunavut to the east. Its waters currently include the Earth's North Magnetic Pole. Bodies of water shown include Great Bear Lake, the largest lake entirely within Canada, and Great Slave Lake, the deepest body of water in North America at 614 m, as well as the mighty Mackenzie River. In Inuktitut, the Northwest Territories are referred to as ᓄᓇᑦᓯᐊᖅ (Nunatsiaq), "beautiful land". (I love other alphabets and syllabaries).

The Gyrfalcon, also spelled gerfalcon (Falco rusticolus) is the largest of the falcon species and are found throughout the tundra, including all the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. This beautiful bird of prey has been an official symbol of NWT since 1990. The mountain avens (Dryas octopetala, common names include white dryas, and white dryad) is an arctic-alpine flowering plant which grows on a small prostrate evergreen subshrub forming large colonies. It grows abundantly in the eastern and central Arctic, as well as in parts of the Mackenzie River.

I've had the great priviledge of having seen much of this country and having travelled from coast to coast. (I am still hoping to visit the third coast). I have yet to visit any of the territories, despite my best efforts. Some of my research, in my day job as a scientist, relates to the Mackenzie Delta. I've spent many hours looking at maps of this region and one day, I hope to see it in person.

I've now completed all 3 territories and 10 provinces, which I wanted to do before the OOAK. I might make a Canada print too... but not before the show.

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