A new sculpture by Nunavut (eastern Arctic) artist Bart Hanna will soon be on display in the House of Commons foyer.
It was commissioned as part of Canada 150 celebrations, and unveiled in Ottawa on Monday to mark the 20th anniversary of Nunavut as a territory.
It will be displayed in the parliament building’s West Block until restoration work is complete in Centre Block. Then it will be moved to the foyer, to join a series of other works dating to the 1970s.
The sculpture depicts Sedna, a sea goddess and an important figure in Inuit mythology.
“She is a marine being that has been seen throughout the arctic waters, as my grandfather said one time many years ago,” said the Igloolik-based Hanna, in a statement.
“Most stories of Sedna seem to suggest that she is benevolent; however, I have occasionally encountered comments that suggest this is not always the case.”
The 65 centimetre by 84 centimetre sculpture is a tympanum, typically used to decorate a semi-circular or triangular space above a door or window.
Hanna was selected by a jury to create the piece. The jury included other artists, the House of Commons’ curator, and the Dominion Sculptor, who oversees the carving program on Parliament Hill.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Passing of celebrated Inuit carver Barnabus Arnasungaaq marks end of era, Radio Canada International
Finland: Sámi school preserves reindeer herders’ heritage with help of internet, Cryopolitics Blog
United States: Set of Indigenous Yup’ik masks reunited in Alaska after more than a century, CBC News