THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF CANADA ACQUIRE SACRED WATER I & II FOR THEIR PERMANENT COLLECTION

 

The National Gallery of Canada acquire Sacred Water I & II for their permanent collection.

First exhibited in Ace’s Karsh-Masson Gallery solo exhibition Mnemonic (Re)Manifestations in Ottawa in 2016, the diptych Sacred Water I and Sacred Water II focuses attention on the adverse impact of climate change and global warming. The beaded works on paper focus on two found antiquated water flow graph charts. Ace notes that these two charts are actually drawn by water through an electronic measuring device. In Sacred Water I, the flow chart depicts a complete floral-like motif drawn in ink by water. For Ace, this complete floral image denotes a world (as referenced by the circular chart) in balance as a living organism and the floral motif is reminiscent of Anishinaabe floral beadwork referencing healing and medicine. The green beaded area represents the earth’s vegetation in balance with the nurturing flow of water.

Sacred Water II is the antithesis of Sacred Water I. Here the floral image has been replaced by fragmented and broken lines depicting a world out of balance. The green surrounding vegetation is displaced and severed by a circular band of blue beads denoting an increase of the oceans brought on by rapidly melting glaciers. The porcupine quills in both works represent the sacred winged beings including the eagle and thunderbird who bear witness to our global plight, while the tip of quill emphasizes the sharp poignancy of global concerns over the rapid onset of climate change.