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Our wild spaces can often be places of profound stillness and quiet, and often no more so than under the cover of dark. And so it is too, that some of the animal people who flourish by night are they themselves masters of silence. Among these are Owl, "Kokoko," to the Anishinabek. With the ability to sit nearly motionless for many hours and special wing feathers that allow silent flight through the moonlit forests, Owl has been admired for patience and skillfulness. The gift of exceptional sight allows Owl to see perfectly even in the darkest night. These qualities are what have led many people and cultures to respect Owl as a figure of wisdom, because Owl knows and sees what many others cannot. Owl is able to penetrate and understand the darkness that keeps knowledge of the world hidden from everyone else. The dark does not deceive Owl.

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.

Artist's Statement

"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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Silence & Sight by Mark Nadjiwan

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