Totem Poles, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Totem Poles are sculptural monuments of the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. Different types serve different purposes, both architectural and ceremonial. Some poles are carved to support main beams of a building, others as a memorial to honor a deceased person, still others are carved to shame and protest political grievances. A famous shame pole was carved to protest the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill environmental disaster.
The designs of totem poles usually feature symbols of human, animal and supernatural forms.
Canadian artist Brian Jurgen has created these three totem poles from golf bags to explore the tension between the complex social and political situations of the First Nations lands and people.
The sculptures have a whimsical appeal that speaks loudly to the seriousness of environmental concerns.
For those that celebrate the golf bag, this is for you.