Tribe Called CAN

Acrylic, 2014

With this piece, ‘Tribe Called Canadiens’, my intent was to express the feeling of working up to a moment, much like my anticipation of the new hockey season and of a new painting. Through my research of the past few years I have learned much about the origins of hockey in Canada. Specifically the origins of hockey found with the First Nations of the Mi’kmaq of the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. The tribe which spread throughout the Maritimes, were credited in the nineteenth century with creating the ice hockey stick. Recently, an original Mic Mac hockey stick sold for $2.2 million US. Calling on Canadian First Nations history and the legacy and origins of the Montréal Canadiens, I began to sketch an idea for this painting.

I chose to focus on the ‘tribe’ aspect of brotherhood, unity and preparations for the coming hockey season. A tribe is defined as a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader. To me the Habs are a tribe and the fans of the Habs are part of this tribe and the energy and enthusiasm of these tribes, banding together to propel a hockey team forward, are contagious. Above capturing the electric energy through the use of colour and dynamic lines, drawing your eyes to the focal point of the mask, I have made subtle references to the game and team. In some ways the lines come together to create the goalie’s hockey net, the emblazoned yellow maple leaf signifying Autumn, flight, energy. The eye sockets of the mask showing the iconic H (in gold leaf) and a red-rimmed C of the team logo.

The piece is about honor and homage. It is about pride.