Object Record

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Ray, Carl, "Guaardian Water Spirit"
Artist Ray, Carl
Object Name Drawing
Object Type drawing, pen and ink
Title The Guardian Water Spirit
Date 1973
Medium ink on paper
Dimensions H-56.5 W-51 cm
Description Carl Ray pursued a career as an artist and became a distinguished self-taught artist. He broke the taboos around depicting Indigenous traditional stories, and began to use them as inspiration for his work. Ray illustrated Cree legends and rituals, fearing they would be lost if they only continued to be passed down orally. Renowned Aboriginal Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau introduced Ray to the ‘woodland style’ during their work on a mural for the Expo67 in Montreal. As co-founder of the Indian Professional Artists Association, he and several others fought for the inclusion of their work, while addressing colonization and the discrimination of First Nations Peoples. Ray’s unique style is seen in the featured piece, Guardian Water Spirit, displaying inner organs and exposed energy lines. Ray’s work is full of movement and disturbance, usually placing the subjects in conflict with the elements.
Credit line Gift of the Women's Committee
Catalog Number 1974.002.001