Artists of the Crèche: Nancy Kovachik & Wayne Brown
Originally featured in our 5th Annual Crèche festival, back in 2014, “Huron Carol, a collaborative effort by artists Nancy Kovachik and Wayne Brown is now proudly part of our permanent collection.
Nany’s interest in what is internationally known as “Fibre Art” has grown to include “Wet Felting”, a process where natural wool fibres, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water), move at a 90 degree angle towards the friction source and then away again, forcing the scales of the wool to lock together, thereby causing the phenomenon of felting. This process was utilized by Nancy to create the people and animals featured in the nativity. The piece is reflective of the local culture and sensitive to the culture around us.
Wayne’s expertise in designing and building log homes was put to good use in building the House of Bark, a shelter for Nancy’s little felt family. Wayne also contributed an original painting to the display. The painting is modeled after a photograph Wayne took while heading up to God’s Lake, Manitoba. The sky in the background was designed to exactly reflect how the sky looked on that night, Tuesday, December 17, 2013 – a sky that included a full moon. The actual Huron Carol originated in the area of Midland, Ontario. The English version of the hymn is derived from Brebeuf’s original song and Huron religious concepts. In the English version, Jesus is born in a “lodge of broken bark”, and wrapped in a “robe of rabbit skin” He is surrounded by hunters instead of shepherds, and the magi are portrayed as “Chiefs from afar” that bring him “fox and beaver pelts” instead of the more familiar gold, frankincense and myrrh. The hymn also uses a traditional Algonquin name, Gitchi Manitou, for god.
This unique display is sure to delight and fascinate festival goers of all ages.