Artist John Williams says the memory of his Gramma Lily lives on in every brushstroke of his new painting, Mookibii, which was unveiled recently at the Aamjiwnaang Community Centre recently.
The collaborative, community artwork is part of the Great Art of Great Lakes project and features the handprints of community members incorporated into the final piece.
In Ojibwa legend, Williams said, it was mermaids that brought medicine to the people. Mookibii, which means, “she emerges from the water,” tells one of those water stories.
In the centre of the canoe sits Soul Cloud, making an offering of tobacco to the water spirits. The aroma of sage, sweet grass, tobacco and cedar are evoked, providing the offering of smudge, he said.
Great Art for Great Lakes involves eight community participation projects designed to celebrate the people and history of the Great Lakes during Canada’s 150th birthday.
Mookibii is now on permanent display at the Maawn Doosh Gumig (Community Centre), located at 1972 Virgil Ave.