Marie Watt - Blanket Stories

Give your blanket, share its story, and be part of artist Marie Watt’s Blanket Stories installation.

You are invited to give a wool or natural fiber blanket and share your story with artist Marie Watt in an ambitious installation called Blanket Stories: Seven Generations, Adawe, and Hearth.

The blankets will be folded and stacked to create a welcoming pole as part of the Gallery summer 2013 exhibition . They will be arranged into seven columns, reflecting the Indigenous teaching of seven generations. The installation will be the largest community collaboration by the artist and her tallest sculpture to date.

Collection point

You may drop off your blanket at the cloakroom of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (map) and share your blanket’s story in writing on a tag provided on site. Please note that blankets will not be returned. Deadline is 2 April.

If mailing your blanket, write about your blanket on this tag and include it in your package. Our address is:

Blanket Stories
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive, Ottawa ON K1N 9N4

Kate Beresford, Exhibitions Assistant, at 613-998-4092 or

Blankets: bearing witness to important life events

The work of Marie Watt (Seneca) is centred around the community, particularly in her use of wool blankets. This installation will highlight the rich history of commerce and trade in Ottawa. The word “Ottawa” comes from the Algonquian word adawe, which means “to trade.” Watt is interested in the way blankets and humble pieces of cloth are often markers for memories or stories. Blankets also have a very personal meaning for her: in the Seneca community, as in other Indigenous groups, blankets are given to honour those who are witnesses to important life events.

About Marie Watt

Born in Seattle, Washington, in 1967, Marie Watt (Seneca) has produced lithographs and sculptures dealing with contemporary Native American topics, using a variety of materials, including fabric, alabaster, slate and corn husks. Her works can be found in both private and public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Canada and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, in Washington, D.C.