Thursday, May 1, 2008

Norval Morrisseau's Legacy Continues (Part II)

Art of Christian Morrisseau

Christian was born (December 11, 1969) and raised in Red Lake, Ontario. He currently resides in Keewaywin First Nation, Ontario. He is the son of the renowned Woodland Artist Norval Morrisseau and Harriet Morrisseau (née Kakegamic).

Christian is the youngest of seven children and is the second to follow in his fathers footsteps. Other family members by true blood line are in order: Victoria Kakegamic, David Morrisseau, Peter Morrisseau, Eugene Morrisseau, Michael Morrisseau and Lisa Meekis. Norval Morrisseau has 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren by true blood line.

Christian follows in his father's artistic footsteps and is an accomplished artist in his own right. His love of this style of art was traditionally passed down to him by his father Norval Morrisseau, who in turn, learned from his grandfather, Moses (Potan) Nanakonagos. Potan was a well known and respected traditional Shaman. Christian spent four months learning and listening to his father's teachings and began painting in May 2002. He wanted to celebrate his gift and keep the Morriseau's family traditions and stories alive. Christian paints in the Woodland style, which was developed by his father, Norval, upon receiving a vision instructing him to do so.

Today there are well over 470 followers, including Christian, that paint in the Woodland style. Christian paints animal images, landscapes, his father and his children, his tradition and his legends. Christian is developing his artistic gifts with intensity,discipline, and passion.

He is productive and his works sell well in many markets. Christian sold his first painting to the Department of the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. It was purchased by Minister Robert Nault as a gift for the signing of the historical treaty between the Inuit and the Government of Canada on October of 2002. In September 2003, a short documentary of Christian’s work was made in Keewaywin First Nation, produced by George Farris and presented in the 2005 Indigenous World Conference in Argentina. Christian had his first exhibition in Toronto Ontario, at Gallery Sunami in 2003.

His first exhibition in Ottawa is in May 2007 at Calligrammes gallery.

Photography: ©
Text: Calligrammes gallery, Ottawa, Ontario


Hugh said...

Spirit Walker,

I have enjoyed your research into native traditions lately. Morrisseau would be proud.

This post is nice for Christian but the followers chosen by Morrisseau are not his sons. The students he had for years like Ritchie Sinclair and Brian Marion seem to be the true followers. They were with Morrisseau for a decade or more, not a couple of months!

Morrisseau is just another name without the god given gift! Morrisseau said the Woodlands school would be carried on by these artists, he trained them especially for it. They learned the religious as well as artistic part of this new school.

I have seen many fairly good so called Woodlands artists, some will make it. The name Morrisseau itself doesn't make great art. Don't even try to play that card. Taking advantage of a name is for commercial pirates.

Is your site a promotion gimmick?

Thanks for listening to another voice,


Spirit Walker said...

"hugh" is asking me if this site is a promotion gimmick???

Purpose of this blog is stated in it's header: " This Blog is posted in honour of the Mind, Body and Spirit of Copper Thunderbird better known as Norval Morrisseau - Grand Shaman of the Ojibway. Also, this is the first and the only Blog initiated during Norval Morrisseau’s lifetime and it is dedicated entirely to the preservation of the legacy of his people as well as to the preservation of his artistic legacy."

Likes such as Ritchie Sinclair and Brian Marion will be presented on NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG soon.

Megwetch, SW

Anonymous said...

How does this blog being the only one that was started during Norval's lifetime make any difference? What is the signifance of this? Did you know Norval and have direct contact with him at anytime during his life?

How can you say that you are protecting his artistic legacy when there is no proof that Morrisseau painted some of the paintings you have claimed to authentic? How can you claim that this site preserves the mind, body and soul Copper Thunderbird and his artistic legacy when HE HIMSELF OPENLY AND CONTINUOUSLY CLAIMED these paintings to be fake?


Anonymous said...

I was directed here by someone who recognized the picture in this post.
you have incorrectly Identified the owner/credit for this picture as Artworld of Sherway.
I can state clearly that I have not been asked for permission to use this picture by anyone.
I am the photographer who took this picture of Christin a few months ago.

Spirit Walker said...

Peter, If you e-mail me at, with your personal e-mail, requesting to remove the photograph of Christian Morrisseau I would gladly do so or if you allow be post it here please let me know via e-mail also and I will post your name as an author of the photograph posted.

Note: I always try to identify authors of the material I am posting here but sometimes that information is not available...

Megwetch, SW

Anonymous said...

Please do not remove the picture, I was just surprised it found it's way here. No need for me to be promoted, I just though others would have asked first.
I'm sure Christian does not mind, so why should I.
Chimo... if you are online,
greetings, and greetings to all that follow not only Norval, but also Christian and all of the other First Nations talent much respect.

Interesting blog.

Spirit Walker said...

Thank you Peter... I would like to disclose you name as an author of the Christian Morrisseau's photograph but if you decide to stay anonymous I respect your right for privacy.

For those that are questioning paintings presented on Norval Morrisseau Blog: "It seems to me that we just have to wait to see who's right about these paintings and see if they are genuine or not. I believe they are authentic as many of them being presented throughout Canada in number of reputable galleries."

The significance of this Blog is recognized by many but few would like for NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG not to exist in cyberspace and are trying to discredit my true intentions.

Megwetch, SW

petzee said...

Great day for Bloggin.
I can see that all things Morrisseau appear to be the topic of much heated debate.
My contribution here will deal with no such madness.
I would just like to leave your readers with a few of my thoughts regarding Christian.
Recently I had a chance to meet and spend some time in the company of this emerging artist.
I can say that all of the things I witnessed while doing the photo shoot left me with a good feeling about what I saw.
I watched Christian spend time with the many who came to his gallery opening, speaking with each and every one of them.
This guy is soft spoken, gentle and very generous with his time.
I suspect Christian has a great future in art, not because of his last name, but due to his talent as an artist.
To Christian, I wish you well,to others, I have no insight to offer any who are debating the issues surrounding the elder Morrisseau.
I am a fan of BOTH.


Anonymous said...

Your last line says it best.
I trust there are many like yourself.
SW any more on Christian? or the other family members?

"Silent Sam"