Nanabush Giving the Racoon its Colours, 1969
acrylic and graphite on ivory wove paper
61.4 x 76.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 42231)
In 2003 McKenzie began experimenting with sculptural molds, casting buffalo skulls in resin to create remarkable assemblages. The buffalo skull is considered sacred among many Indigenous cultures throughout Canada and the United States. Particular protocols are placed upon sacred objects, and they are used only during specific ceremonies. McKenzie's installation emphasizes this concept, considering the ways in which an object signifies sublime belief. He further layers meaning upon the skulls by applying his interest in vintage car clubs, extending the vehicle (and therefore the resin buffalo skulls) into a representation of speed, power and prestige - embodying qualities beyond everyday use value.