Craft Redefined

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Untitled (1970)
visual expression of Sioux people, hide figures, Sioux symbols, narrative, tipis, visual storytelling, re-telling the stories, ancestors, living off the land, recapturing great-grandfather's stories, horseback riding, bison, symbolism in First Nations art,
description

The artwork presented here is a fine example of Goodwill’s ability to recapture the visual expression of the Sioux people in the 1800s. Goodwill used a fibre-tipped pen to create the figures and symbols on the hide, which illustrates the importance of the horse and the bison to the Sioux. On the top part of the hide we see a hunter with a gun following three horses. Another hunter with an arrow trails slightly behind. A string of five tipis occupies a corner of the hide.

start quoteI had always been an artist, ever since I was little. I made stick horses, cardboard horses, and I'd stand them up all over the place with riders and I think that's where I inherited my idea of hide painting.end quote-- Wayne Goodwill

Along the middle of the hide are two geometric symbols, and below them is a Sioux man on horseback with a rifle, emerging from a circle of ten tipis, chasing five bison. Perhaps these are stories of specific incidents that Goodwill’s great-grandfather had related to him when he was a child, or they may be a retelling of what life was like for his ancestors as they lived off the land.

additional resources An Artist from the Start
Duration: 2:03 min
Size: 9507kb
Hides and Ink
Duration: 2:23 min
Size: 10502kb
My Grandfather's Stories
Duration: 2:14 min
Size: 9854kb
Trip to France
Duration: 2:19 min
Size: 10709kb
Young Hunter
Duration: 2:24 min
Size: 10993kb
Things to Think About
  • When your family gathers for special occasions, are there stories that are told and retold about past family events? Why do you think this happens?  Why is it important to have these kinds of memories to share?>
  • In his hide-paintings, Goodwill portrays the things that were important to the survival of the Sioux people. What would you choose to include in an artwork if you were telling the story of your life?
Advanced Activity

Links to other  First NationsFirst Nations is a contemporary term referring to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status (definition from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). To find out more about Canada’s First Nations, go to: Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/ Village of First Nations: http://www.firstnations.com/ Canada’s First Nations: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations   pictograph drawings

 

Treaty 4

Other pictographs and early writing

pictograph

Pictographs and petroglyphs were used to document events and communicate. Cultures around the world developed their own symbols, pictures, and shapes that, in many cases, eventually developed into alphabet letters. This carving is from an ancient Persian  friezeA decorative horizontal band usually placed along the upper end of a wall. In ancient Greek art architecture, the part of the entablature between the architrave and the cornice. Also, any sculptured or ornamental band in a building, or on furniture, pottery, etc. Parts of a processional frieze that once decorated the Parthenon are in museums in London, Paris, and Athens. (Artlex.com)  showing a man from ancient Persia. Persians and Sumerians (who were from roughly the area of modern Iran/Iraq) are thought to have been responsible for inventing modern forms of writing.
  • For more information on the development of writing go to the Omniglot website (http://www.omniglot.com/ )

  • The following site includes detailed learning activities and information about this time period:
    ("An Ancient Revolution: The written Word", Lesson 1: The Impact of writing on society)

Find examples of symbols and pictures used to communicate by other societies in the past. Here are two examples:

cave drawing egyptian carving

 

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux  TapestryA woven piece of textile depicting pattern or narrative or symbolic images. A tapestry is composed of weft and warp threads, but in tapestry all warp threads are hidden and it is the weft threads which result in an image.  was designed and created in the 15th century as a way to tell the story of William the Conqueror’s Invasion of England in 1066. It looks very much like a form of pictograph, made as a tapestry.

tapestry 1 tapestry 2

 

Graffiti

graffitiThis example shows graffiti art of our times. What other ways to communicate are unique to modern society and are always evolving? Can you create a message similar to a pictograph on a computer or through texting?

 

 

 

Advanced Activity

Social studies/Arts education/drama strand

Create a drama based on Goodwill’s artwork.  This can be as  tableauxScenes presented by costumed actors who remain silent and motionless on a stage, as if in a picture. (artlex.com)  connected with words/actions or as a drama in context.

Imagine you are living on the prairies a long time ago, before the arrival of Europeans.  How do people get  food and clothing? There are no grocery stores, or any stores at all. Everyone in your “village” and family, including kids and teenagers, have to help out and work together, so that you will all have food, clothes and shelter. Each person has different tasks, but you all work together and it is what you enjoy. You might create a drama or a story about what your life would be like.  Goodwill shows us a few clues in his artwork, as to how  First NationsFirst Nations is a contemporary term referring to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status (definition from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). To find out more about Canada’s First Nations, go to: Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/ Village of First Nations: http://www.firstnations.com/ Canada’s First Nations: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations   communities went about some of these tasks.

Interactivity #1

Look carefully at Goodwill's artwork again. What do you think is happening in each part of the image? Maybe the tiny marks are a way to record and document numbers, accounts, or important events. Perhaps Goodwill is showing us that there were ways to keep records in a different  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  than we use now, but which were equally efficient.

Do you think that in the past, the people who drew these kinds of images were thought of as artists, or would that be one of the skills everyone needed to learn for survival?

 

Prepare

 

Interactivity #2

Write a list of all the possible uses you can think of for the animal. Some parts of the buffalo will be used for items other than food.  These links will help you in your research:

There were no refrigerators or freezers, except snow and ice in the winter. There had to be a way to preserve food.  First NationsFirst Nations is a contemporary term referring to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status (definition from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). To find out more about Canada’s First Nations, go to: Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/ Village of First Nations: http://www.firstnations.com/ Canada’s First Nations: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations   people invented pemmican, thousands of years ago, a food product that they would keep for use when there was no fresh food. It was highly nutritious. It was made by pounding dried meat into a “flour” and then mixing this with buffalo fat and berries.

Nowadays we can taste buffalo meat as hamburgers and in other recipes. But the meat comes from buffalo that are farmed, so we don’t really know if it tastes similar to the long ago wild buffalo.

 

Create your own special  First NationsFirst Nations is a contemporary term referring to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status (definition from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). To find out more about Canada’s First Nations, go to: Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/ Village of First Nations: http://www.firstnations.com/ Canada’s First Nations: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations   feast to celebrate a successful hunt

Try making the following pemmican-style recipe

picture of buffalo
  • In a large bowl, mix dried fruit (raisins and cranberries).
  • Add some fresh berries such as raspberries or saskatoon berries.
  • Add lard or vegetable shortening.
  • Add shredded beef jerky.
  • Mix all together and spread on waxed paper.

Here are some links to Aboriginal cooking/recipe websites

 

Clothing

It would depend on your status in the community as to what you would wear for the feast. Like people now,  First NationsFirst Nations is a contemporary term referring to the Indian peoples of Canada, both status and non-status (definition from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). To find out more about Canada’s First Nations, go to: Assembly of First Nations: http://www.afn.ca/ Village of First Nations: http://www.firstnations.com/ Canada’s First Nations: http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/firstnations/ Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Nations   people long ago, also had special clothing for special occasions. Research some of the items they might have worn, and how they were made. What would you like to have worn, if you had lived then? What would you wear at a feast? Make a  sketchA rough or unfinished visual composition, usually to assist in the completion of a more elaborate version.  for an outfit based on one you research. Develop the  designA plan, or to plan. The organization or composition of a work; the skilled arrangement of its parts. An effective design is one in which the elements of art and principles of design have been combined to achieve an overall sense of unity. Also [applied design], the production of attractive and well crafted functional objects. Subcategories of the design arts include: architecture, bonsai, fashion design, furniture design, graphic design, ikebana, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, stagecraft, textile design, and Web page design. (Artlex.com)  as a pictograph using your own ideas for symbols and decoration.

 

Here are some links to Aboriginal clothing websites

Online Activity
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You are on a camping trip in a remote location and you have run into a problem, but your cell phone won't work and you can't find anyone to help. You are trying to come up with a solution and meanwhile have made a pictograph so maybe someone will find you and can help out.

Click on the shapes icon (the arrow) and on the shapes menu icon under the drawing window to see a set of symbols and drawings.

Click on the symbols and drawings to make them appear in the drawing window, and arrange them in the window to create a pictograph.

Studio Activity

Drawing as communication


Goodwill presents a traditional form of communication using a combination of traditional and modern materials. This form of  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  or pictograph was used to record important documents as well as everyday events. Originally, the creators of pictographs made drawings on hide, bone or rocks, using “paints” or drawing tools. Sometimes they might have had time to add lots of details, but often, the figures were simplified, because it may have been a  fastFirmly fixed; closely adhering; made firm; not loose, unstable, or easily moved; immovable; as, to make fast the door. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  method of communicating. Drawings carved into rock are called petroglyphs.

You can find out more about pictographs and petroglyphs at the following websites:

Petroglyph

 

Write a story based on Goodwill’s artwork. Tell the story from the point of view of one of the people, or animals.  For example, a hunter’s horse; a buffalo; one of a herd of wild horses; a hunter, chief etc.

Draw your idea for a pictograph for another scene. What takes place after Goodwill’s drawing? Use a different material as a base for your drawing. You might find some scraps of leather, or stretch some fabric and stain it with  acrylicSynthetic paints, with pigments dispersed in a synthetic vehicle made from polymerized acrylic acid esters, the most important of which is polymethyl methacrylate. First used by artists in the late 1940s, their use has come to rival that of oil paints because of their versatility. They can be used on nearly any surface, in transparent washes or heavy impasto, with matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes. Acrylic paints dry quickly, do not yellow, are easily removed with mineral spirits or turpentine, and can clean up with soap and water.(Artlex.com)  paint to resemble an animal hide. What kind of tool would have been used in the past to draw with before pencils and pens?

Here is a possible list to choose from:

Add to this list.

 

Create a journal page as a pictograph. Base your  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  on a personal event or an important historical event. Invent your own symbols as well as ways to create simple  representationalTo stand for; symbolize. To depict or portray subjects a viewer may recognize as having a likeness; the opposite of abstraction. A representation is such a depiction. (Artlex.com)  drawings.  Provide a key for your symbols at the bottom of the page.

References

Warner, John Anson. ‘Wayne Goodwill: Sioux Artist of Standing Buffalo Reserve.’ in Four Generations of the Goodwill Family, MacKenzie Art Gallery, 19xx.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning