Monthly Archives: October 2016

Daphe Odjig, 1919-2016

Oh!  It was startling to see Ms Odjig’s photo on the Globe and Mail’s Obituaries page today.  It’s not that she hasn’t lived a long, fruitful life.  It’s just sad to see another great Canadian artist pass on.

Daphne Odjig Edmonton Journal photo

Daphne Odjig Edmonton Journal photo

I first saw her work in a school hallway in the north end of Winnipeg.  It was a framed print;  I wish I had asked how the school came to own it.  I don’t remember the image, but I do remember that I liked her style immediately. Maclean’s Magazine/The Canadian Press says her work blends “the influences of Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh with the shapes of Ojibwa pictographs.”  (Read the short article here.)

Daphne Odjig Odjig.com image

Daphne Odjig Odjig.com image

The subject matter of her work is wide-ranging, from domestic scenes and community life, to erotica and legends.

Daphne Odjig

Daphne Odjig

Daphne Odjig In Tune with the Infinite

Daphne Odjig In Tune with the Infinite

Daphne Odjig Pow Wow Dancer

Daphne Odjig Pow Wow Dancer

In 2011, Pow Wow Dancer was featured on a Canada post stamp.  Click here  and here to see and read more about Ms Odjig’s images on Canadian stamps.

Daphne Odjig accomplished much in her life.  She received the Order of Canada in 1986, and the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Art in 2007.  Her work has been shown, and collected, internationally.  Perhaps her most interesting achievment  is her role in the founding of the Professional Indian Artists Inc. She opened a business, Odjig Indian Prints of Canada, (which expanded to be The New Warehouse Gallery) in Winnipeg in the 1970s. Yes!  She was the first indigenous person to own an art gallery in Canada.  She exhibited and sold her own work, as well as the art of Jackson Beardy, Norval Morriseau, Alex Janvier, Eddie Cobbiness, Carl Ray and Joseph Sanchez.  They are sometimes referred to as The Native Group of Seven.  Her initiatives in promoting aboriginal art had significant impact for native artists.  For further reading you can’t go wrong with the Canadian Encyclopedia article here.

Do you like her work?  The good news is that Ms Odjig was a prolific artist and many commercial galleries in Canada sell her work at reasonable prices. Have a look at Hambleton Galleries in Kelowna, Bearclaw Gallery in Edmonton, Lattimer Gallery in Vancouver and The Winnipeg Art Gallery.

 

Advertisements

CLOUD artists

Since two of the art works highlighted in my last posting about Winnipeg’s Nuit Blanche were by the same artists, I think we should visit their website. Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett can be found at, appropriately, incandescentcloud.com.

CLOUD by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

CLOUD by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

After you’ve checked out their website/blog, you can  watch this one minute video about CLOUD, produced by Ms Brown.  As well, here is a good article from the Banff Centre, featuring the other work I enjoyed, The Deep Dark, and an interview with the artists.

The Deep Dark by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitlind r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

It’s exciting work: relevant, intelligent,  interactive, gorgeous, and. ……fun.  What more could we ask for?  (Funding.  We can always ask for more funding.)

 

Nuit Blanche….à Winnipeg

Winnipeg’s Nuit Blanche is a big, fun deal!  I’d read and heard about the Nuit Blanche festivals celebrating contemporary art, but had never attended one.

St. Boniface Bridge, photo by T. Vatrt

St. Boniface Bridge, photo by T. Vatrt

The French phrase, nuit blanche, means a ‘sleepless night.’  The concept of Nuit Blanche  –an all-night art party!– originated (appropriately) in France in 1984, and has spread around the world.  Canadian Art magazine has a great article (here) about why Nuit Blanche works, or sometimes fails, in Canadian cities.  Winnipeg staged its first Nuit Blanche in 2010;  last year Toronto’s Nuit Blanche celebrated its tenth anniversary.

I suppose every city has its own take on Nuit Blanche.  In Winnipeg, I visited a few outdoor displays, many of them interactive.

Yes!  In CLOUD, the pull strings on the incandescent bulbs worked.  In The Deep Dark, we walked through 12 illuminated ‘doorways’ along the river.

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

I’m not sure which was more intriguing:  to watch people appear, and disappear through the doors, or to personally experience the enveloping light, quickly followed by complete darkness that occurred when you walked through the ‘doors.’

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

The Deep Dark by Caitland r.c. Brown and Wayne Garrett, photo by T. Vatrt

This is only a tiny sample of Winnipeg’s Nuit Blanche.  Click here to peruse the extensive program of performances, screenings and events that were staged Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Nuit Blanche was participating in the enjoyment of art, outdoors, at night, with hundreds of other people.  This may have been my first Nuit Blanche, but, hopefully, not my last.