This painting documents an important transition in Cobiness’ practice, when he moved away from purely spiritual subject matter to spare, highly stylized representations of animals and nature. Here, a dancer is depicted in a side profile holding a drum. Three droplets of water fall from the dancer’s drum into a small pool, and the dancer himself appears to be captured in motion. Based on their similarity with older Anishinaabe motifs, the radiating lines that surround the figure are possibly indicative of energy emanating from the subject. Along with his name and date, the artist also signed the work with treaty number 47. Cobiness, like Alex Janvier, made a point of signing his works with his treaty number as a means of protesting oppressive government assimilation policies for Aboriginal people.
Materialsacrylic and mixed media on canvas
76.4 x 60.8 cm
Gift of Jennifer and Gary Scherbain, Winnipeg, 2011