Student Perspectives on the Art Collection
Student Perspective provided by:
Major: Studio Art
Minor: Public & Nonprofit Administration
Class of 2023
"Ben Hinmon is the great, great, great, great-grandson of chief Pontiac and Interim Director of the 7th Generation program of the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in Mount Pleasant, MI. The Chippewa tribe, also known as Ojibwa, is a part of the Obwandiyag, meaning the Three Fires Confederacy which includes the Chippewa (aka Ojibwa), Odawa (aka Ottawa) and the Potawatomi tribes.
In this painting by Hinmon, I see three mothers; a human mother, a loon mother and an otter mother, each protecting their babies. They are all connected by a central sun that surrounds the main figure and branches off into two smaller red and yellow sun-like turtles that ultimately connect the minds of the loon, otter, and human mother. This reminds me of the connectivity Indigenous people have with nature and the connectivity all mothers have with each other, whether human or animal.
I wonder why Hinmon didn’t include eyes or facial features on the human figures like he did on the animals? I began to research Indigenous legends and spiritual meanings attached to excluding a face. Unable to find anything specific, I began to think about the power a faceless figure can have. By excluding eyes or other facial features the artist strips away the identity of the figure itself. Maybe by excluding the face of the Anishinaabe Kwe (Indigenous woman) in this painting Hinmon is referring to the unknown identities of the Indigenous people that were forced from their homes by European colonizers." - Megan Daniels