(Reviving Everything Anishinaabe)
22″ x 28″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2015
The inter-generational effects of residential schools is something so many of us live with. But this is a painting about hope and revival. The bowl (doonagan) represents the bowl of our individual lives, its our spiritual bowl. We fill it with the good things we do in our life. The strawberries represent the coming of age ceremonies, such as the strawberry fast young women go on. The young woman holding the pipe, and the young man holding the smudge bowl, along with the strawberries represent the return of our ceremonies, and the revival of everything we once had. The richness of our ways of life, our languages, and our connection to the land. The butterflies represent the metamorphosis, change and freedom from the heaviness of the residential schools and the hope for the future. The flowers and plants always bring us back to our connection to the land and the medicines and teachings they give us tell us how to live on Mother Earth.
Offerings and Prayers for Genebek Ziibiing
36″ x 48″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014
Between 1955 to 1978, there were over 30 tailings dumps and spills from uranium mines at Elliot Lake into 10 lakes and Serpent River. The radiation from uranium dumps completely killed the life in the waters and the people of Genaabaajing are still living with the devastating environmental effects today. Water is the very lifeblood of Mother Earth. Water, and our connection to everything in the spirit world depends upon us keeping everything in balance. Every time we make our offerings and say words to the waters, its helping to restore the balance the earth needs. I send my love to this river, and all waters. This painting was inspired by the stories & teachings of Isaac Murdoch. Miigwetch Issac for continuing to teach the people how to live in balance.
Quiet Moment of Gratitude
16″ x 20″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014
“The ancestors & spirits understand everything that is in our hearts. Everything we are going to say, they know before we say it. In the quiet moments, while we are alone, we can find our ways back to understanding who we truly are.”
20″ x 30″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014
“Even the smallest of insects can be healers and helpers. Sometimes they come to visit, in person, or in dreams. The spirit world is a mystery. I may not always understand the message they bring, but I understand love. I understand we each have helpers, and they love us.”
Our Lives are in the Land
48″ x 60″, Acrylic on Canvas, 2014
The plants are teachers. They are connected to each other, and all other spiritual beings through the sacredness of life. When I remember who I am – a human being connected to all of life – I remember also that I am loved by the spirit world and our ancestors. And when I remember this, I remember to respect even the smallest of things.