Perseverance, the ability to maintain a worthy course of action, especially in the face of adversity, is an important quality in life. The First People often found important attributes exemplified in the lives of those creatures with which they shared Mother Earth. They came to see the quality of perseverance exemplified in the life of Wolf (Ma-iingan), an important totem animal to many First Peoples. It is in their dedication to family (the pack), especially their young, where Wolf embodies perseverance. Providing for the young means that Wolf has to persevere in the hunt. In the picture, one can see the ever guarding and watchful mother as her cubs gather around the remains of Moose (Moozo) - whose life has been given that theirs can be nourished. The most important life-giver, the sun, is also present and we can see sun's sustaining energy cascading down to the young cubs and also in their mother's heart.
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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