Archive for July, 2019

Book Review by Steve McPhail

SUN INFINITY MOON
a novel by
Mark Seabrook

“Mark Seabrook” is a renaissance artist from the “Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation”, also known as “Many Rivers Joining-Human Beings”. Sagamok’s culture and language is “Anishinabek” / “Anishinaabemowin” and is made up of the Ojibwe, Odawa and Pottawatomi bands. (The Sagamok reserve is approximately 120 kilometres west of Sudbury, Ontario.) I first became aware of Mark’s brilliant “Woodland” style of painting at the “Providence Bay Harbour Centre” on Manitoulin Island, where his work illuminates the walls of the “Huron Island Time” ice cream parlour.

“Contemporary Canadian native artists have produced three major schools – ‘Westcoast art’, ‘Inuit art’ and ‘Woodland art’. All three have been based on ancient traditions that, despite the persistent and pervasive forces of acculturation, have endured to the present day. The woodland style developed as a direct result of the imagery ‘Norval Morrisseau’ brought forth into the world in the early 1960’s. Despite censure from elders in his community, he chose to make public the spiritual concepts inherent in the ‘Midiwewin religious society’. Common to contemporary and prehistoric traditions is the prevalence of images of ‘transformation’: representations of a man or an animal being two life forms at the same time.” – (http://www.native-art-in-canada.com/woodlandart.html)

For the record, “Midiwewin” is a religious society made up of spiritual advisors and healers, known as the “Mide”. The Mide serve as spiritual leaders for the general populace. They perform religious ceremonies, study and practise sacred healing methods and strive to maintain a respectful relationship between humanity and Mother Earth.”
– (https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/midewiwin)

Though Mark Seabrook is no stranger to expressing himself in the written word, as a musician, poet and playwright, only recently has he released his first novel, “Sun Infinity Moon”. Much like his brilliant work in the visual arts, Mark reveals the story of a narrator’s “recapitulation” of his memories of childhood friends on Manitoulin Island, in a non-linear manner. (“Recapitulation is a core shamanic technique used to heal emotional charges. On a deeper level, it is used to reclaim energy and return it to one’s self.” – (http://toltecnagual.com/toltec-tools/the-recapitulation)

Whether these various characters are different people, or aspects of the narrating character’s fragmented personality, is up to interpretation. On the book cover is the warning: “contains course language, violence and sexuality”. Whether the reader identifies as Indigenous or not, take no offence at the harsh and humorous collage of scenarios depicted. As one follows the narrator’s struggle through his personal transformation to regain his “Indigenous soul”, consider the act of visualizing this story a personal shamanic journey.

Derek Stephen McPhail

Providence Bay

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SUN INFINITY MOON

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There it is!  With flash book marks to go with.  Wow!  Those folks at OJ Graphix in Espanola did it up nicely, quickly, and exactly.

Book launch, island style, will be this Saturday, July 20th, 7 p.m., at Huron Island Time, on the beach at Providence Bay.  Flash art show as well, and hopefully, live music by one of the great island musicians who we know, going back 45 years.

Here are a few sample pages:

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Opening 2 pages, Sun Infinity Moon, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to chapter 2, SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

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Opening 2 pages to chapter 3, SUN, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

It is a short read:  just 250 pages:  perfect for the cottage on a summer afternoon.  Mind you it IS a horror story…

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Back cover, SUN INFINITY MOON, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Copyright 2019.

It will be available on ebay soon!  Amazon to follow.  Book launch on the island this coming weekend and city book launch here in Ottawa coming soon.  So stay tuned!

Miigwetch!

Hit the PRINT button!

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My novel layouts arrived yesterday and they’re good to go!  This is a writing project darn near 24 years in the making!  This nit picky writer of course held it back numerous times but the real hold up was the fact that I didn’t have an ending…

That ending arrived in a dream way back in 017 and so here we are, ready to hit the PRINT button!  At last!!!  I’m calling them this morning at 9 and telling them:  Ship it!

Release party to be held soon!

Life in the Big City No. 2-07-06-019

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Walk way into the National Gallery of Canada on July 6th.  Inside: AC.  Outside: 39 C.  Did I ever tell you I will never say mission accomplished until I have something like this building, on 500 acres of the south shore, on the limestones of Manitoulin Island, with a view of the great Lake Huron?  Not as a gallery but as my personal crib!  (My old buddy Scott said:  how are you ever going to heat a place like this?  I said:  we’re only staying here for 6 months of the year! (Ha!))

I was at the gallery for the Gauguin Portraits exhibit:

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There she is!  Tehamana has many parents OR The Ancestor of Tehamana, 1893, oil on coarse fabric.  Tehamana is shown with flowers in her hair, holding a fan and wearing a contemporary missionary dress (those goddamn missionaries!) of the type introduced by European Christian missionaries.  Surrounding her are enigmatic spiritual referents: glyphs (taken from Easter Island tablets), a female figure (possibly Hina, the goddess of creation), and three hovering heads (spirits of the dead).  This portrait merges a colonial present with a mysterious, mythic past.  Those goddamn colonists!

Anyway.  I have been waiting my entire art life to see this painting in actual, up close.  We covered that base first thing yesterday.  “Self Portrait with Yellow Christ” was an also must see but in that section:  NO PICTURES allowed!  It was there!  And I spent a solid 20 with that one!

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Super heavy duty:  Melancholic (Faaturuma) 1891, oil on canvas.  One day I want to sail to Tahiti and visit those legendary Tahitian women.

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Young Christian Girl, 1894, oil on canvas.  Painted after Gauguin’s first sojourn in the South Seas, this work is an evocative synthesis of Breton and Tahitian imagery.  The economy of form and intense colour create a powerful sense of the spiritual.  The brilliant yellow cloth of the girl’s missionary dress fills the canvas, becoming a luminous embodiment of pure faith.  (words by NGC.)  Standard fare on any Art History curriculum!  I edited out the bit about those goddamn missionaries…

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twinravens on July 6th, markers on heavy paper, 2019, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  well at least for a day I can report that my original art DID hang on the walls of the great National Gallery of Canada!  (ha!)  They had an art station set up for anyone who wanted to fuss and I surely did!

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Ah yes:  the Great National Gallery of Canada.  It was along this way where I ran into the great Alex Janvier!  You’ll have to scroll back into this blog to read about that adventure!

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The Martyrdom of Father Brebeuf and Lalemant, c. 1843, oil on canvas, Joe Legare (1795-1855).  Saw this and wondered if a Mr. Kent M. was inspired by such things way back in his early days…  Slip some high heels on those Indians and BINGO!

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The Daffodil, 1910, oil on canvas, Laura Muntz Lyall.  First NGC purchase of an impressionist work by a woman!

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Boy with Bread, 1892-99, oil on canvas, Ozias Leduc.  Classic Canadian Art History fare.

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The Death of General Wolfe (detail), 1770, oil on canvas, Ben West.  Once again I saw this and started wondering about our old buddy Mr. Kent M.  Slip some Frederick’s of Hollywood 7 inch heels on that Indian and flipping BINGO!

IMG_8207Super heavy duty:  Renoir’s almighty from 1903.

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Mega:  Monet in 1903.

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Ultra!!!  Vin in 1886.

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Holy Smokes!!!  Matisse in 1926.  He too, stood the same distance away from that canvas! Wowza!

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This one rattled me.  That’s the super gorgeous Jennine as a 17 year old, shortly after she moved to Manhattan from Union City.  What struck me was the photo looked like it could have been photographed earlier in the week, yet here we are in 2019, and Jennine is long gone, dust and bones.  It reminded me of what the great old lady:  Jean Hodgson of Mindemoya, once told me, back before 1994:  Don’t be anyone but yourself.  And it also reminded me of what the great Jack Seabrook once said to me way back before 2002:  Don’t be putting things off to tomorrow.

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Yes, I will not say Mission Accomplished, until I have a building like this on that 500 acres, on the south shore, Manitoulin Island, as my personal crib.  That’s on the walk way out.

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Mother and Child, 60’s Scoop Survivor, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  On display at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa.  The Atomic Rooster is NOT a lounge at the National Gallery of Canada, ha!  Priced to sell:  $3200.

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I Miss You, acrylic on canvas, 18×24 inches, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Also on display at the Atomic Rooster.  $500

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The Green and Blue, mowed trail back home, thousands of acres, by anishinabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Priceless.

Even though the farm back home is indeed a work of art, it is a work of genius, a paradise on earth, in a place with zero light and noise pollution, and something imagined and realized, there is another place too, in the imagination…

Here is the video from yesterday’s walk through.  Be warned:  it is a full ten plus minutes.

 

art work by Mark Seabrook

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“Power Bird”, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Power Bird, 2018”, acrylic on canvas, 22×28 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Woodlands at New Moon”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×18 inches.  Private Collection.

Bear Clan with White Raven

“Bear Clan”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches.  Artist Collection.

A Self Portrait on November 30th by Mark Seabrook

“A Self Portrait on November 30th”, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private Collection.

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“Anishnabe at Full Moon”, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Feeding the Wolves”, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches.  Private collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  Private collection.

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“Tehkummah Scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Private collection.

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“For Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women”, Acrylic on canvas, 36×58 inches.  Artist collection.

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“For Missing and Murdered Women”,  Acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Tehkummah scenes”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Joe Boyden meets Grey Owl”, Bic pen on sketch book paper, 8×10 inches.  Private collection.

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“Stacie from Malibu, Fancy Shawl Dancer”, Sharpie marker on 65 pound paper, 8.5×11 inches.  Artist collection.

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“Power bird”, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Private collection.

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“Anishnabe portrait”, Sharpie marker and ball point pen on bristol board, 18×24 inches.  Artist collection.

And many more of course, email me if you’d like to see others that ARE available, we ship anywhere!

Miigwetch and Happy Canada Day.