© 2016 by Mackenzie Tout. 
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GICHIGAMI

Great Lakes Series

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world with a surface area of 82,100 sq km (31,700 sq mi). 

Lake Superior is home to many great Ontario cities and towns, most notably Thunder Bay and Sault Ste Marie, ON. On the American side, Duluth, MN, and Marquette, MI, are two of the largest communities bordering the lake.  

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This is a two-colour screen print done on Mayfair paper. The paper size is 11x17". 

I've made several references to historic landmarks, and events that have influenced the surrounding provinces and states.
 

  • Directly in the middle, "Gichigami" is a word used by the northern Indigenous communities to describe Lake Superior meaning "great sea." 

  • Splitting the lake in half, a dotted line is used to decipher the respective American and Canadian parts of the lake.

  • Near the top, the USA marking can be found mixed amongst a sky of twinkling stars. In northern parts of Canada and the US, views of astronomical objects are heightened due to approximately 90% less light pollution than that of larger cities. 

  • The Ariel Lift Bridge is a landmark of Duluth, MN and can be spotted behind the lighthouse. The Ariel lift bridge was implemented to help local traffic navigate across a 390-foot gap after ferries, and swing bridges were dismissed due to seasonal challenges.

  • In a small inlet, a lightning bolt can be spotted to symbolize what is currently known as the Canadian city of Thunder Bay, ON. The letters "FW" and "PA" are used to reference the former cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, which were merged as Thunder Bay on January 1st, 1970. Although the cities are no longer officially marked, there is still a distinct divide between the two sides of town. 

  • Above Gichigami, a silhouette of the "Sleeping Giant" can be seen in the negative space. The Sleeping Giant is a formation of mesas and sills on Sibley Peninsula, which resembles a large human lying on its back when viewed from certain parts of Thunder Bay. 

  • A segment of the Thunder Bay Grain Elevators can be seen as the building with the letter A on it. Thunder Bay was once the largest grain port in the world due to the development of the Canadian Pacific Railroad and the pressing demands of grain from growing eastern provinces. 

  • Most of the northern terrain is dominated by luscious pine trees. In Ontario, there are a wide variety of coniferous and deciduous trees that support a healthy forest-products industry. For the past 100 years, Ontario has supplied world markets with a growing array of high-quality pulp, paper, and lumber products.

  • The wolf at the bottom of the image represents the mascot of Lakehead University Thunderwolves. The inclusion of this imagery was on a personal note, representing my graduation from, and athletic experiences at, Lakehead University.