"Makwa Pikwatina Mitikmo - The tree that tells the story of bear mountain" by Denis Charette
Giant western red cedar
Hollow Glen, A Journey Through Time
The ancestral Algonquin territory stretches over hundreds of kilometres from Fort-Coulonge to Cornwall, with Hollow Glen at its centre. Algonquin people have lived there for close to 6000 years. In the days of New France, the Kichesipirinis were the ones who lived closest to the area today known as Hollow Glen. Their main gathering place was on L’Isle-aux-Allumettes. However, given their nomadic lifestyle, which included hunting, fishing, and, later on, fur trading with the Europeans, they made use of their entire territory.
Although they were first colonized in 1820 by Irish immigrants’ farming families, it was not until 1938 that the territory’s history would drastically change. Landowner Lyle Beamish had some big plans for the area, including the construction of an artificial lake, the creation of a ski station and a beach resort project. The remainders of the Beamish Dam and Mountain Lake are important legacies. As with the Indigenous people, the specific territory of Hollow Glen, located on the edge of the Canadian Shield, has been, and continues to be, greatly appreciated.
"Makwa Pikwatina Mitikmo - The tree that tells the story of bear mountain", 2021, by Denis Charette
The sculpture is a tribute to nature and to the First Nations people who were the first to inhabit the territory. It takes us through time, back to the region’s earliest history. This 14-foot totem pole rests on a peaceful black bear bathed in magnificent waterfalls. This is the artist’s way of representing childhood memories from his and others’ time spent at Kelly Falls, surrounded by the wildlife and lush greenery of the Hollow Glen area. The textured Algonquin style attests to their presence in the area and their harmony with nature. The eagle, majestically perched on the tip of the pole, depicts courage. It protects and reassures. work emphasizes the importance of cottage living in the history of Chelsea and invites viewers to immerse themselves in its past –even live it. The cottages scattered throughout the region are reminiscent of the vernacular structure of the chalet, the memory of the now partially submerged Chelsea Island, and the importance of lakes and water in the activities of vacationers.
Denis Charette is a Quebec artist of Algonquin descent from the Outaouais area. Known for his monumental and totem-like sculptures, Mr. Charette has created numerous pieces in North America.
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