WHEN THE TREES CRACKLE WITH COLD: p?simwasinahikan

January – February 2020

Miriam Körner and Bernice Johnson-Laxdal have collaborated to bring us a series of watercolour paintings depicting the Cree moon calendar through Johnson-Laxdal’s childhood memories.

This exhibit is part of OSAC’s Arts on the Move program

The original paintings that were printed in a children’s book of the same title make up this fascinating exhibition.

Bernice Johnson-Laxdal grew up in a family of thirteen siblings in Ile-a-la-Crosse Saskatchewan’s second oldest community. Miriam Körner grew up in the bustling city life of Germany.

Miriam fell in love with northern Saskatchewan fourteen years ago during a dog sled race that led across wind-swept Bigstone Lake. Little did she know then that the unforgiving vast wilderness of northern Saskatchewan wold become her intimately known backyard or Bernice her neighbour.

Bernice showed Miriam the traditional Cree moon calendar and told her stories of her family’s traditional activities. Although Bernice and Miriam grew up world’s apart they found a connection through their understanding of nature and a deep respect for the people whose life-style followed the natural cycle of nature.

This exhibit celebrates northern Saskatchewan and its people. It is an homage to a unique place where we can all learn important lessons about respect for the land and each other and move towards a common understanding of northern Saskatchewan’s history and our place within it. Growing up in Germany Miriam felt disconnected to the natural world. Now, living in northern Saskatchewan helps her to find the lost connection. She is still learning.

The Station Arts Centre has invited Miriam Körner and Bernice Johnson-Laxdal for a two-day workshop with local students in the gallery. Students will enjoy storytelling, a discussion of the work and a hands on activity based on the Cree six season calendar.