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Ace’s new work honours the legacy and revitalization of the Indigenous horse of North America. The Ojibwe Spirit Horse, also known as the Lac La Croix Pony, was driven to the point of extinction. In 1977 the four remaining mares were bred with Spanish Mustang stallions to preserve this critically endangered breed. The story of the Ojibwe Spirit Horse is a moving one, and also shares a tragic parallel colonial history with Indigenous peoples in Canada.
Gwiiwzens Dreamed of Spirit Horses (2023) is a sculptural assemblage work consisting of a found pair of children’s cowboy boots that Ace embellished with his signature electronic component and glass bead medicine flower motifs. The small boots rest on top of two vintage stylized galloping silver horse cobbler shoe rests. The wire fringe extending out from the back of the boots reference the erasure of the Ojibwe Spirit Horses and public awareness of the brutal colonial history that attempted to eradicate them. The title of the work implies an element of optimism for the future, as Gwiiwzens (the young boy) dreamed of the return of these Spirit Horses.
Available for purchase at HEFFEL.
For more information on the Ojibwe Spirit Horses:
Canadian Geographic: Ojibway spirit horses gallop into view
Horse Canada: Ojibwe Spirit Horses: Not Tools, But Teachers