Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Alberta donates painting to National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa - November 21, 2005


Premier Ralph Klein presented a gift of art on behalf of all Albertans to the National Gallery of Canada today in celebration of his province’s Centennial. The painting, titled Song of My Dreambed Dance, is the creation of contemporary artist Joane Cardinal-Schubert. 
Song of My Dreambed Dance, which is an acrylic on canvas measuring 152 x 122 cm (60 x 48 inches), is from Cardinal-Schubert’s Warshirt series, and was painted in 1995. It features a moment of transformation between animal and human states, and can be interpreted as a self-portrait. The title conjures up the idea of a dance, which is further enhanced by the ornate regalia, jingles, ribbons and hoops. The artist describes the red background as the interior space of a sweat lodge and the diagonal blue bands of colour as pine tipi poles.

“This painting is an enduring symbol of Alberta’s proud history and the heritage of its aboriginal people,” says Premier Klein. “It is also a way of saying ‘thank you’ to Canadians for their support of Alberta during the tough times, and for the many good times Albertans have enjoyed as members of the Canadian family.”

“We are touched by this gesture from the people of Alberta,” says Pierre Théberge, Director of the National Gallery of Canada. “During its 100 years as a province, Alberta has produced many fine artists whose work is represented in the National Gallery’s permanent collection.”

Joane Cardinal-Schubert was born in Red Deer, Alberta, in 1942. She graduated with a BFA from the University of Calgary in 1977 and her career as an exhibiting artist began soon after. A well-respected senior artist from the Blood Nation, she has been an active advocate among native artists in Canada. In 1985, she became the fourth woman in Alberta to be inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and was awarded the Commemorative Medal of Canada in 1993 for her contribution to the arts. She now lives and works in Calgary.

Speaking of her work, Cardinal-Schubert has said: “So many stories are in each work, they are not just my story, they are the stories of all the people that are a part of me – those that formed me by their actions so many years ago, those that influenced me as a child, those that are my friends, my enemies, my teachers, my colleagues, and my family.”

Song of My Dreambed Dance joins another work by Cardinal-Schubert, Preservation of a Species: Shroud-Spill, in the National Gallery of Canada’s permanent collection.

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