This wholecloth quilt is one of a series that Nancy Erickson made portraying members of the world famous Toklat wolf pack in Alaska's Denali National Park. The pack was the first group of wolves ever studied in the wild, but it has suffered serious losses in recent years. Tragically, many Denali wolves ave been trapped and killed when they wander just outside the boundaries of the park, where they are fair game. The last remaining member of another of the park's packs was killed in this way in 2002, and the last adult members of the Toklat Pack are gone now too.
Nancy Erickson commented in 2005: "I'll be calling Friends of Animals about the Toklat wolf pack. Dr. Gordon Haber documented the demise of the alpha male and female for them, and I think was going to try to keep track of the teenaged offspring; there were four, but no guiding adult to help raise them. So the last photo I saw, they were together, running, but without adults. I imagine that the study started back in the 1930s is over, though. Wolves are so social, and so loyal to one another, and when they howl together...well, you know: it is another dimension."
Click here to read more about the remaining wolves of Denali National Park.
As in many of Erickson's recent quilts, the wolf is marked with images that reference neolithic cave paintings. She explains: "In the mid 1990s I worked on quilted pieces that showed bears in caverns or in rooms formerly occupied by humans and covered with cave drawings of early animals. The bears wander through these environments, teaching their cubs about history. In this quilt, the ancient history is imprinted on the animal itself, who moves freely on the wall."
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