"The Spirit Giggles Within"
Cover of George Littlechild's "The Spirit Giggles Within."
George Littlechild: The Spirit Giggles Within
Heritage House, 2012
Colourful mixed-media works that feature buffaloes, teepees and the like are the stars of this 175-page hardcover book. Each image is accompanied by an explanatory note. For instance, Woman, Thunder Bird, Clear Cut, which is pictured on the book’s cover, pays tribute to the land. “I painted Mother Earth as a woman with a painted face standing by a clear-cut, in hope that we will change and take only what we need and stop abusing our home, sacred Mother Earth,” notes George Littlechild. Son of a Plains Cree woman and a Celtic father, Littlechild was raised by a foster family in Edmonton as part of the so-called Sixties Scoop, which saw many aboriginal children placed in homes outside their communities. In the book’s foreword, curator Ryan Rice notes that Littlechild’s art helped him deal with his alienation and inner turmoil. “Littlechild’s art practice helped him address loss and the emotional disruption with the intent to clear his mind and reduce his pain,” Rice writes. “His paintings have helped him to metaphorically ‘wipe away the tears’ and restore his heart to its rightful place.”
Littlechild, who lives in Courtenay, B.C., studied at Red Deer College, the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, and the Banff Centre. He has exhibited in galleries around the world and has written and illustrated several children’s books.