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For Seven Generations


Whiskeyjack was always stealing the food of the People. When they questioned him about how he always knew where to find their food, he replied "Ah, it is because the earth is my plate and one should know how to clean their own plate." One can see Whiskeyjack holding onto his stolen bounty as he looks over his shoulder at the gazing man. In the large circle below him is the, land and water. But today, Whiskeyjack has another message for all of his declining numbers. Due to climate change, his winter food stores are now spoiling before spring and he is starving. He tells us, firstly, that humankind's tendency to take too much from the plate of the Earth causes these changes in the seasons. And secondly, that we must remember to think beyond our own welfare and ensure the well-being of the next seven generations, represented by the seven red berries he holds in his beak. (This piece is dedicated to the late Mr. Lome Fleece, who many years ago first brought the original Whiskeyjack story from the Abitibi region to my attention...and who wondered aloud what could become of it at the tip of my drawing pen. I hope he would be pleased with the result).

Mark Nadjiwan - the Artist and the Art
The subject matter and style of artist Mark Nadjiwan are predominantly inspired by his First Nation heritage. He is a self-taught artist who works primarily in pen and ink. His 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. He 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.


Artist's Statement

"Although I have a deep and abiding affinity for what 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 I 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 I try to incorporate and communicate in much of my work such as connection, interdependence and unity, are universal"

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For Seven Generations by Mark Nadjiwan

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