In this fantastical scene, a bright orange octopus has the hairy legs of a wolf-like beast and oddly-shaped eyes that peer in all directions. It joins tentacles with a grey octopus with the white legs of a human. Instead of eyes, human faces circle this creature’s head, each with different skin tones and hair colours typical of Ashoona’s inclusive representation of humankind. In the centre a blond-haired man in a green parka stands with his arms raised and his mouth open in alarm. A photographer, oblivious to the drama unfolding above him, focuses his lens on the small dancing creatures before him. The surreal elements in the image reveal Ashoona’s increased sense of freedom in juxtaposing fantastical monsters, sea creatures, people, and popular culture.
Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds
Shuvinai Ashoona, Composition (Attack of the Tentacle Monsters), 2015
Fineliner pen and coloured pencil on paper, 96.5 x 123 cm, Collection of Paul and Mary-Dailey Desmarais. Photo credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.