Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sixth Anniversary of Norval Morrisseau's Passing Into the Spirit World

Ozaawaabiko-binesi ~ Copper Thunderbird ~ Miskwaabik Animikii



Portrait of Norval Morrisseau (detail) Illustration by Spirit Walker
© Susan Murar; Photography by Lucinda Jones
/Click on image to Enter Susan Murar's website/

Portrait (White clay): 8'-0" x 3'-6" x 2'-2" (Height x Width x Depth)
Staff (White clay): 3'-10" x 1'-10" x 10" (Height x Width x Depth)
/The portrait has not yet been cast into bronze/

* Inquires from patrons and cultural institutions wordwide are welcomed-


Norval Morrisseau has not left us, love never leaves, it defines life. He was aware as an artist in this world that the quest and the goal of all life is to reach the pinnacle of understanding the concept of love. The subtext of all his life's work - and he heard it in Spirit - "It is essential that all life respect life". Love. His creations were defined by love. Humankind is in the process of discover­ing the definition of love, and Norval was well aware of this in every cell of his Being. He did everything that was within his powers to move us closer to this understanding, through his paintings.

He has told us that he is a child of the stars, and he tried to tell us that we too are star children. He demonstrated beautifully, artistically, that there is no balance between spirit life and physical life, there is no contest - the Spirit is always #1. Because of this and he understood this instinctively, joy is our legacy, "wherever joy is, you are". Norval knew this and he gave this to us intimately as "Copper Thunderbird" shaman artist.

He has not left us, he is here celebrating his gifts to us as we continue to receive them. For generations to come - the joy of his creations will speak to us of this great artist, and we will wonder and certainly rejoice as he was so much a part of us, and we of him. As we are all - always in all ways - he was a messenger.

"All is well, blessings be."-

Susan Murar, Sculptor



Simone McLeod said...

Sitting here looking at this beautiful collage of paintings by Norval Morriseau all laid out in this grouping, allows the viewer to see and truly appreciate the true impact that he had on the First Nations art world.
When I began painting in the mid-nineties it was quite the experience to sit and feel a heavy heart at what I believed to be "revealing the ceremonial secrets of my people" It was then that I recalled hearing about Norval. I remember that when I heard others speaking of him they always seemed to be focused on his subject and less on him as the growing father of the first nations art movement. I cannot imagine how alone and in turmoil he may have been in feeling this need to share the "old ways" publicly. Perhaps he was before his time in seeing that one day, media outlets would be thee best way to reach out and help our lost peoples recognize the spirituality of his work and therefore begin the stirrings to search within ourselves and find the spirit memory that has been our way since the sun first shone. I as an artist and as an Anishinaabe woman, will be forever indebted to him for reawakening within me, my path, my memories, my history and my duty as a story teller and artist and to carry on, on the road he started walking down. His footsteps blazed a trail that will be forever easier for the next one who chooses to follow it. Miigwech Ugo Matulic for poviding this respectful and honorable format to voice my opinion.

Zhaawano Giizhik said...

The blog that my friend Ugo Matulic has been dedicating for such a long time to the work and legacy of Anishinaabe artist Miskwaabik Animikii/Norval Morrisseau takes us on an ever- captivating journey, giving a clear insight in the spirit of this remarkably powerful artist that like no other has removed barriers to understanding our common humanity. Ugo reminds us that not just Canadians, but all mankind are blessed to receive Mr. Morrisseau's artistic and spiritual gift and obligated to pass it on.

For this my friend Ugo, and the uphill battle you go through every day in preserving Miskwaabik Animikii's legacy against money-driven so-called artists and art dealers, deserve a heart-felt chi-miigwech and the highest honor possible.

Spirit Walker said...

Miigwetch niwiijiwaaganag,

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

~ Nelson Mandela

Susan Murar said...

Ugo Matulic (Spirit Walker): I want to thank you for caring about my work as a sculptor, to honour Norval Morrisseau's gifts to our world. You have never failed to give your personally intelligent and creative resources to keeping my monumental portrait of Norval in view on your blog, when an opportunity arises. When this first 3D and monumental portrait finds a permanent home in Canada, it will be your efforts along with others who also care about this important work of art related to the Ojibwa Nation, that will have made it happen.

I consider you a mentor, a solid foundation on which I can rely, over these few years, to further my knowledge about Morrisseau and to "go to" to ask my own personal questions about my path as I dedicate my present and future studio work to producing sculpture that has a direct relationship to the oeuvre of the great master Norval Morrisseau. There was an article in the Globe and Mail on mentorship recently (December 4/ Arlene Dickinson-Entrepreneur) and it stated: "I think of mentorship as a dialogue, encouragement and caring about your community and fellow human beings. Canada needs more people who are engaged with each other. That is what is at the heart of mentorship after all: learning, teaching, caring and giving. You can't have too much of that in the world."

Thank you,

Susan Murar "Morrisseau Sculptor"