CUPE commissioned artist Lee Claremont to produce a painting for our new Aboriginal poster on the theme “Water connects us all”. CUPE is a strong advocate for clean, publicly delivered water. We advocate against privatization and bottled water, as well as for protecting our public water systems and community water resources.
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The poster’s theme represents the importance of water to our planet earth and all life on it. “Water is a universal element that flows through all living things,” says Claremont. “Water is a gift to be respected and cared for.”
Symbolism that Claremont incorporated, from her artist perspective, into this painting:
- Differing shades of blue represent the many different oceans, waterways and rivers and the vibrant yellow/orange represents the land.
- The figures represent universal images of human beings with the smaller figure depicting our youth, our future, who must be protected at all costs.
- Abstract shapes on both the large and small figure are organic and symbolize the many plants, trees, forest, food and other living things that need water to sustain them.
- The four hands – black, yellow, white and red – are the four colours of the medicine wheel and represent all peoples of the earth.
- The bear paw, fish and turtle are powerful symbols in many cultures. The turtle is part of the Mohawk creation story and I am from the Turtle Clan.
- The moon is Grandmother Moon, who controls the ebb and flow of the great oceans. The dots are stars in the purple sky and represent all our ancestors.”
Lee Claremont, of Mohawk and Irish ancestry, is a member of the Six Nations, Oshweken, Ontario, and now lives in the B.C.’s Okanagan Valley.
- View more of Lee’s artwork at www.leeclaremont.ca.