“Emboldened by the Franklin Expedition to map the North West Passage that launched in 1844, and with the statement “he was the uncle of my great uncle’s wife” Frankwin Persephone Marquis set out to carve his place in this Saskatchewan Maritime history.
Frankwin’s plan was to employ a seafaring whaling vessel to navigate the rivers, streams and sloughs of Saskatchewan, naming and charting them as a legacy project. He also saw it as a favour to local inhabitants of the land.
The mission-ill-conceived, ill-considered, ill-equipped and unsuccessful by conventional measures, Marquis did however survive 38 years living symbiotically in a man-beaver community, bore from the wreckage of both his overladen whaling vessel and the den of a vigorous beaver colony.
All that remains from this unintentional social experiment are a few relics, that when examined appear to be aids for Marquis’s day to day tasks, perhaps fabricated in conjunction with his beaver masters. All of the relics were discovered, authenticated and donated by Trina-Beth Montgomery of the Historical Society of the West of Central Great Plains.”
Curator Leah Taylor writes,
Utilizing pragmatic materials, Gronsdahl’s vernacular expresses a prairie folk-art sentiment. The conflation between the art objects, real archival materials and the invented artifacts, evoke a subtle interplay between truth and fiction. A thin veil of distrust and exaggerated conspiracy theory lingers throughout the “museum,” ultimately problematizing the selectivity of written historical knowledge.