Adrian A. Stimson

Adrian A. Stimson

Bison Candy

Artist Statement

Shortly before he died, Plenty Coups, the last great Chief of the Crow Nation, told his story; "When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground," he said, "and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened."

Ernest Thompson Seton, naturalist, just after the turn of the century determined to estimate the number of bison in North America pre-contact, he undertook a rigorous process of mathematics, logic and comparisons to domestic animals living on the plains. “ Seton figured there were 75 million buffalo in North America before the white man arrived”

The historical slaughter of the bison was a part of the decimation of First Nations in the Americas, a deliberate and brutal attempt to destroy not only the bison but the people who relied on the bison for sustenance. Yet both have survived and live to relate their on-going story. 

My desire in creating Bison Candy is to honour the memory of the bison and its resilience. To study and promote its return to the territories it once dominated. The history of the bison is analogous to Plains Indigenous being, in our time, the bison is still a source of inspiration, imagination and life.   

Each Bison Candy honours the memory of one of those 75 Million and its resilience today. Bison Candy is an act of memory and celebration, In our time, the herds are making a come back, the bison is still a source of inspiration, imagination and life for Plains Tribes and all people.    

Texts Cited:

Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation, Jonathan Lear internet - http://www.powells.com/biblio/0-9780674023291-0

Dary, David A. The Buffalo Book, Swallow Press Ohio University Press 1989 pg.29

 

Bio

Adrian Stimson is a member of the Siksika Nation, his work includes paintings, installations, sculpture and performance. Adrian is known for his performance personas, Buffalo Boy and Shaman Exterminator. Adrian exhibits nationally, internationally and was awarded the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award, Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and the Alberta Centennial Medal. His work is in the collections of the British Museum, Canadian Art Bank and McKenzie Art Gallery.