We’jitu Ta’n Wetapeki Elapsk~tekemkewey Amalitaqn / Finding My Roots Through the Art of Sculpture

Gordon Sparks

 

 

Kkijinu
Nimnoqn, sapunn wejiaql te’sipow wsuknek, kopitey ankuowey, tia’muey mikekn, esquta’tumkewey, kitpue’k pi’kunk

Clan Mother
Yellow birch, horse tail hair, beaver fur, moose hide, glue, eagle feathers 2019

Exhibition Statement

Kisi-amaliteket Wklusuaqnml

Ni’n teluisi Gordon Sparks, Nkiju’em tley kopitk, Muinaq wetapeksit njijaqamij, weskwijinuiap Turtle River aqq no’kmaq telui’tupnik plamuaq, etlikwey Winpekijuik aqq nike’ wiki Kjipuktuk, No’pa Sko’sia. Eltuann amaloqsasikl wsiskwe’l apoqnmuikl kwilm ta’n weni, telita’si, teleyi aqq teli-ktlamsitasi aqq nikanawti’kmuikl me’ anku’- kina’masin kjijitaqn aqq nsituo’qn etek L’nue’l a’tukwaqnn, tetpiaqewe’l, wilu’ew aqq L’nui-mpisunn.

Te’s wsiskwey wejiaq a’tukwaqn, aqq keknue’k aknutmaqn wjit ta’n tel-we’jituas, temasqite’map aqq amaloqsmap wije’wm ta’n telimk aqq jiksitmumk ta’n te’s wsiskwey teluek. Tetpiaqewey etek wije’wmumk ta’n tel-panpalikatmumk wsiskwey aqq kaqapija’tumk kulaman msit wen nmittew aqq etek ta’n teli-ilpalikatmumk se’k app l’kitasiktn. Iknmakwey tel- nmitu koqoey pema’lik wjit teli-melkuktm siawa’tun kis tliaqsip sa’q aqq tan teliaq kiskuk ewe’wm amalitaqnm. Ketlamsitm wije’tikl amalitaqn aqq a’tukwaqnminal. E’tasiw wsiskwey eltu weskumik aqq nikanawti’kmuik, te’s kmu’j mekink weskumit, telimik siawi-amaloqsawen aqq pana’tuan wjijaqamijuaq kmu’jk ewe’wkik kulaman msit wen wji-kina’masitew ta’n nemitoq ula ntlukwaqn. Elmi-kespiaq ula kmu’jk wskuma’tita kniskamijinaqi’k amalitaqn- iktuk aqq amalaknutmamk L’nui-iktuk kiwto’qiw kepme’kl nu’te’nmaqnn. Ntlukwaqn teli-amaloqsman wsiskwe’l kaqamikl wjit telo’lti’tij L’nu’k aqq mlkuktasiktn tel-klo’tmumk telo’ltimk, pile’l tetpiaqewe’l, a’tukwaqnn aqq mawio’mi’l ika’tumkl wutann aqq mawi-apoqnmatimk.

Artist Statment

My given name is Gordon Sparks, my clan mother is the beaver, clan spirit animal the bear, born from the Turtle River, and the salmon is our clan totem, raised on Pabineau band first nation, now living in Halifax N.S. Canada.

Through the traditional hand-carved wooden mask, I am on a vision path that is guiding my mind, body, and spirit to seek knowledge and wisdom of the Mi’kmaq peoples stories, traditional ceremonies, traditional food, and medicine. Each mask that I make is from a traditional story, and has a personal story on how I was guided to find the tree, take its life, and carve the spirit out of the wood for all to see, and listen to what the mask has to say to ears that need to hear it. There is a ceremony involved for each mask when woken up to be put on a wall for people to see, and put to sleep in a box to be transferred to one place to another. The vision I have been given guides my passion, and desire to record the past and present, with three dimensional form. I strongly believe in three dimensional forms and storytelling. Each mask speaks to me, guides me, and each tree that is chosen speaks to me to continue to carve the spirit of the wood, to be shown to all people of the land. In the end the spirits of the trees will speak of our ancestors, through three dimensional form, and storytelling around the sacred fire, the language of the land. My work as a traditional hand-carved wooden mask maker represents tradition for the Mi’kmaq people, to guarantee the preservation of traditional values, new ceremonies, oral storytelling, and the gathering of people to share in life stories together as a community.

Plamu Muin Kitpu
Nimnoqn, muiney ankuowey, sapunn wejiaql te’sipow wsuknek, tia’muey mikekn, esquta’tumkewey, kitpue’k pi’kunk

Salmon Bear Eagle
Yellow birch, bear fur, horse tail hair, moose hide, glue, eagle feathers 2019

Muin Mpisun
Wpkwanimusi, sapunn wejiaql te’sipow wsuknek, apli’kmujuey wtankuowey, tia’muey mikekn, tnuan, esquta’tumkewey

Bear Medicine
Butter nut, horse tail hair, rabbit fur, moose hide, sinew, glue 2015

Klu’skap
Wpkwanimusi, Apistane’wjuey ankuowey, sapunn wejiaql te’sipow wsuknek, tnuan, esquta’tumkewey

Glooscap
Butter nut, martin fur, horse tail hair, moose hide, sinew, glue 2016

Nukmij
Maskwi, wape’k wowkwisuey ankuowey, sapunn wejiaql te’sipow wsuknek, tia’muey mikekn, tnuan, esquta’tumkewey

Grandmother
White birch, white arctic fox fur, horse tail hair, moose hide, sinew, glue 2016

“L’nui teli-wsua’tu teli-iknmakwey amaloqsawen aqq a’tukwen nkutey kepmite’taqn, asite’taqn aqq tepkatik tela’tekemk apoqnmuan kikmanaq mikwite’tmnew ta’n wetapeksulti’tij, mawita’new aqq apajo’ltinew ula kmitkinu tel nenmu’k Mi’kma’ki.”

“As a Mi’kmaq person with the gift to create with my hands and the gift of storytelling it is my honor, privilege and obligation to do my part in helping our people remember our place, gather and reunite on this land we know as Mi’kma’ki.”

 

Aknowledgments

This catalog was created with the help of Mi’Kmaq Language Keepers Barbara Sylliboy and Arlene Stevens, and the coordination of Mi’Kmaq Language Coordinator Giselle Stevens. Wela’lioq, we are grateful for your knowledge and work.

We wish to acknowledge the generous support of Arts Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality for the funding provided to mount this exhibition and it’s associated programming.

Published ©2021 by the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. All photography courtesy of the artist unless otherwise stated.

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