On 23rd May 2015 at Niagara on the Lake, Coyote Watch Canada will be holding ‘A Song Dog Celebration’, their first fundraising Gala event. Coyote’s are known as ‘Song Dogs’ for their haunting vocal artistry and are one of the most adaptable and charming animals on the planet.
“Coyote” which was made exclusively for CWC’s ‘A Song Dog Celebration’ reflects on the harmony that once existed between coyotes and man, the destruction of that relationship, and the hope for a return to understanding and co-existence.
At the left of the piece are three images of coyotes. Coyotes form tight family bonds, one of the traits they share with humans. Like coyotes, First Nations people and Native Americans have suffered at the hands of ignorance and greed. While celebrating the harmony between native peoples and coyotes, “Coyote” also memorializes the loss experienced by both.
Reigning over the drawing is an image of Mother Nature as a native princess. The background is derived from Edward S. Curtis’s beautiful portrait of Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache (1899). Overlaid is an image of Audrey Hepburn’s face. Hepburn played Rachel Zachery in John Huston’s The Unforgiven (1960). The film, while flawed, attempted to explore the issue of racism towards Native Americans.
At the heart of the drawing is a coyote’s face layered through an image of the Rocky Mountains, suggesting the majesty of nature. A fifth coyote flashes through the piece, running towards the future. In Native American mythology, the coyote was seen as the Creator and sometimes took the form of man. Thus, layered through the coyote’s body is a representation of a native man, symbolizing the morphing of man and coyote into one being, forever entwined through mythology and history.
Finally, migrating monarch butterflies are projected on the coyote’s fur, representing hope and joy. They symbolize celebration of the work of Coyote Watch Canada in its quest for compassionate co-existence with coyotes and other wildlife.
This piece is for North America’s Song Dogs.
‘Coyote’ original drawing will be auctioned at ‘A Song Dog Celebration’
A Limited edition run of 50 A3 signed and numbered prints of ‘Coyote’ are available now with all profits going directly to Coyote Watch Canada:
A special thank you to wildlife advocate David Shellenberger for his kind introduction to CWC and for his help and advice towards ‘Coyote’.