Although Ashoona often depicts creatures and humans peacefully co-existing, in this large drawing she has hunters protecting themselves from two massive, yet unthreatening, creatures who appear to be at rest. The white creature on the left has the coiled body of a snake embellished with colourful fanciful markings resembling confetti. The tip of its narwhal-like tusk is whimsically adorned with an orange fruit. Its companion also possesses a narwhal tusk but resembles a walrus. Near the centre, a hole in the ground is teeming with terrifying black birds, one of which has liberated itself and taken flight—a foreboding sign of the fatal events that are about to unfold. Due to the great danger posed by the hunters, Ashoona’s creatures unexpectedly elicit empathy from the viewer.
Shuvinai Ashoona, Composition (Hunting Monsters), 2015
Fineliner pen and coloured pencil on paper, 123.2 x 162.6 cm, Collection of Oakville Galleries, purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program, the Corporation of the Town of Oakville, and the Elizabeth L. Gordon Art Program, a Program of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation, 2016. Photo credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.