All That Is Good
The depiction of the gifts of sun and rain is intended to represent their "goodness" and importance to all things upon Mother Earth In this piece, in addition to the waters and the land, one can also see two hummingbirds — a male in flight and a female perched just below. I lummingbird (Nenookaasi to the Anishnabek) is said to be the harbinger and symbol of much that is positive and life-affirming. Among many cultures, the hummingbird is believed to represent qualities such as peace, love, joy, forgiveness, freedom, agility and comfort. Some also say this creature evokes the "lightness of being," a highly spiritual quality. Who among us upon seeing a hummingbird can contain an immediate smile and their own light-hearted ness while reflexively declaring to others, "Oh look, a hummingbird!"? Indeed, Nenookaasi is trulv the teacher of "all that is good."
Mark Nadjiwan - the Artist and the Art
The subject matter and style of artist Mark Nadjiwan are predominantly inspired byh is First Nation heritage I Ie is a self-taught artist who works primarily in pen and ink I Iis unique style is a fusion of the Woodland and Northwest Coast Native art traditions. In his work, one can often see the Woodland's characteristic x-ray and wavy line motifs interwoven with the clean formlines and geometry that often typify Northwest Coast art. Mark's First Nation roots are grounded in the Lake Superior and Georgian Bay regions. I le continues to live in the traditional territories of the Anishinabek Nation with his artist wife, Patricia Gray. Mark's work can be found in galleries and venues across Canada as well as private collections in both Canada and the United States.
"Although I have a deep and abiding affinity for w hat my Anishinabek ancestors called 'keewaydinung' - land of the northwest wind - my experiences of our vast and wild regions are. ultimately, trans-cultural in nature. Whenever 1 travel into those ancient and sacred spaces, path underfoot or paddle in hand, it is my 'internal' experiences of being there that I later try to 'externalize' in my drawings. I choose to do this in a style that is largely derived from the artistic traditions of Aboriginal people as they are the ones whose lives have been most intertwined with the natural world and whose images and stories most resonate with me But the messages that 1 try to incorporate and communicate in much of my work such as connection, interdependence and unity, are universal."
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