by Michel Dumont
There is a history of light keepers marrying Ojibway women on Porphyry Island from the second light keepers family in the 1890s to the last family to man the light in the 1980s my aunt and uncle Eva and Gordon Graham. This deer was my attempt to honour this legacy of interdependence and love. I pictured my aunt and her beautiful thick black hair which she always kept in a flowing pony, holding the medicine wheel, while my uncle is holding a lantern. In the hundred years of indigenous women their roles as home makers and on this island that took a different meaning. Originally they lived on the island all year round, gave birth and buried their children there, which is why the cemetery exists on the island. My aunt was renowned for her bread baking. Visitors to the island still remark on her pastries to this day. What changed in one hundred years was that she was considered an assistant lighthouse keeper to her husband. As a child, I grew up going to the light houses of Lake Superior with my aunt and uncle and this piece was made during a light house artist residence I did last summer for the Canadian Light houses of Lake Superior.