Holy Dog: Paintings by Karen Whyte

April 26 – May 25, 2003

Legacy Maltwood (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

This was an exhibition of acrylic paintings by Karen Whyte. The title of the show is drawn from a quote by John Fire Lame Deer, of the Lakota Sioux First Nation (1903 – 1976), who said “We had no word for the strange animal we got from the white man – the horse. So we called it sunka wakan, ‘holy dog.'”

Horses have long figured in the human imagination. The image of the horse is a powerful symbol of death and creativity in many mythologies, but there are few examples of contemporary artists focusing on horses as content. Holy Dog explored the physicality of horse in both portraits and in more abstracted images.

Karen Whyte completed her masters at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education before studying art at the Victoria College of Art. At the time of the exhibition, she worked with UVIc in the Arts & Writing Co-op Program.