The Thundermaker

The ThundermakerCreator: Alan Syliboy

Nominator: David Diviney

An established Mi’kmaq artist, Syliboy’s artistic vocabulary is inspired by the indigenous petroglyphs of Nova Scotia. His immersive installation The Thundermaker is built around the recently discovered and translated Mi’kmaq legend, “The Stone Canoe,” in which the Thundermaker story is embedded. The installation begins with a circle of text panels illustrated with Syliboy’s drawings, and culminates with a tipi containing a projected animation film of the story.  The animation was executed under the artist’s supervision by Nova Scotia Community College Digital Animation students.

Jury Comments: The jury observed the effectiveness of Syliboy’s staging of the story, whose effect is augmented by the participation of the young people in this imaginative recovery of their culture. The artist’s series of paintings for the 2010 Olympics, People of the Dawn, was previously short-listed for the Lieutenant Governor of NS Masterworks Arts Award.