Sea Change presents a tableau featuring a Sedna-like leviathan that has been awakened by a boat crossing the Arctic Sea. The characters in the boat represent the Canadian government, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Jesuit missionaries – forces that radically changed the traditional ways of the Inuit by causing them to become Christians and Canadian citizens. The title also refers to the rising water levels, pollution and temperature in the Arctic, part of the ongoing trajectory of Canada’s colonial legacy and resource economy.
By focussing on the hidden world beneath the sea ice, Sea Change upends the narrative of human dominance to suggest alternate perspectives and possibilities. It also serves as a warning to those who assume power over nature and people: the Earth cannot be controlled, and imbalance will be corrected in unforeseen ways.