Homage depicts the simple image of the beaver (amik) at home in the wild surrounded by the two principal elements of its existence, water and trees. The circle encompassing the beaver represents Mother Earth. Above, one can see the sun, which, along with Mother Earth sustains and unites all life and the elements. This interdependence is rendered by the long thin lines running throughout the piece, connecting all of the elements to one another; sun to earth; earth to beaver; beaver to tree; tree to water, etc. The beaver is striking an almost reverential pose as it looks up to the tree. Indeed, as the beaver's very being is dependent on trees one can understand why this animal would pay 'homage' to the trees of the forest lands.
Mark Nadjiwan ~ the Artist and the Art
The subject matter and style of artist Mark Nad)iwan 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 Supenor and Georgian Bay regions. He continues to live in the traditional territories of the Amshmabek Nation with his artist wife, Patricia Gray. Mark's w'ork 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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