Posts tagged ‘Manitoulin Island’

Dear Diary: August 15, 2019

oh my goodness where to start…  Well I can say the book launch party held at Huron Island Time at Providence Bay on July 20th was beautiful!  We had a great little crowd on hand, introduced the book: SUN INFINITY MOON, a little history, and opened the floor for questions and open discussion.  Now that was a lot of fun.  We have copies of the book available at Huron Island Time in Providence Bay, and if you’re rolling through the town of Tehkummah, they’re over at Ward’s General Store.

Here in Ottawa, we have copies available at Beaded Dreams, 426 Bank St., those folks are open 7 days a week.  And of course they’re on ebay, just type in Mark Seabrook in their search.

And so!  Between today and several weeks ago we’ve had some wild high jinx out there on the summer, late night, super highways between the town of Ottawa and home sweet home, Manitoulin Island!  My little red “war pony” took down a moose just east of Sudbury one fine and dreamy morning, around 1 a.m.  What a ride that was!  The cop got to looking at the car with his flash light and said:  You’re lucky to be alive.  (It didn’t take me long to figure that one out as I was ready to shake hands with the moose, up close and personal!)  And so my little red “war pony” was totalled.  The insurance guys gave me a beauty rental, a flash Malibu “Stacey” (ha!) and I was happy to have that limo, riding around the town of Ottawa and the back roads of Tehkummah, AC blasting.  On the ride back to return the limo, blazing back to Ottawa, 3 a.m., yes…  you guessed it.  I hit a deer full on.  BOOM!  And so the Malibu “Stacie” was totalled.

I sat there on the road side at 3 a.m., beauty night it was, freakishly warm, waiting for the cops, and wondered about this kooky stretch of weird luck on the highways this summer.  There have been some kooky adventures over the years:  Yes, I did survive the 60’s Scoop.  Yes, I did survive the Great Hay Wagon Disaster of 78.  Yes, I did survive being struck by lightning (although that one hurt!).  Yes I did jump out of a burning plane.  And yes I did survive a sinking at sea.  But 2 big game animals inside of 2 weeks?  Sheesh.  And I’ll be honest with you:  going eye ball to eye ball with that moose at 1 a.m., on highway 17 east bound, I really did have time to say to myself:  I’m dead.

With the deer gag, the cop settled me down, the tow truck took Stace away, and I was left there alone in the middle of the night, wondering the BIG WHY?

IMG_8610

Back home in Tehkummah, classic summer afternoon in progress, August 8.  Barefoot behind the wheel, barefoot on the field.

PGLQ8660

The front of the house in Tehkummah, as seen from the trampoline/sun tan bed, on August 4th.

IMG_8609

Clouds over the range: a classic summer afternoon in progress, barefoot with the medicines, at peace while the war rages, many miles away.

IMG_8623

Looking east, at home, late afternoon: heavy duty storm clouds brewing!  Good thing it was going east!  There was an incredible wind happening when I snapped this photo.  I asked my old buddy Scott, how far away is that?  I mean yes, over the Georgian Bay, but is it over Parry Sound and Muskoka?

VXWZ7450

“For MMIWG”, acrylic on canvas, 36×60 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  The show is on going at the Atomic Rooster, Bank Street, Ottawa.  There is still time to get over there and add this one to your collection!  Priced to sell at $3 500.

IMG_8486

What a difference a frame makes, twenty four little dollars…  Found this frame at the goodwill, repurposed it!  That is an authentic twinravens acrylic on canvas in there, 8×10 inches, and ready to go!  (The frame though wasn’t 24 bucks, it was really only 4 bucks!  I dressed it up with some black acrylic paint and ta da!)

IMG_8492

Memory lane:  found this photo, after the 2nd car crash, hanging in the upstairs, cobwebbed.  That is me and Levi working through the first 5 minutes of D. Taylor’s one act play:  Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock.  The date is June 8, 1991.  We’re on stage at the Northern Story Telling Festival, Whitehorse, Yukon.  We’re 80 plus shows into a national tour which started at Membertou First Nation months earlier, so we were a well oiled machine when we hit that stage!  I’m playing Rusty and Levi is doing Keeshig.  That’s the second stage, not the main stage, and this was our first show at the festival, of which, if memory serves, I think we were booked for 4 shows over the weekend.  So this would be sometime after midnight, Friday night.

The festival organizers had no idea who we were or what we were about so they all sat in front row seats to see this Indian outfit all the way from Manitoulin Island:  Debajehmujig Theatre Group.

We rolled through there like a bunch of bobcats and tore that place to pieces!  Like I said, we’re 80 plus shows in, and when you have that many readings stowed, you really know your lines and how to say them.  We worked them over until they were laughing themselves silly and at the end, sobbing wrecks.

The festival organizers immediately re jigged the game plan and took us off the second stage and put us on the main stage including top of the bill on a packed to the rafters Saturday night, which of course we owned.  We did a Sunday matinee and by this time the fans were in there thick!  Yeah…  first time I ever played a festival where every show had a standing ovation.  Very cool.  And a cool photo to see, after all the wild high jinx of this crazy summer.

 

Advertisements

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

SUN INFINITY MOON

LVSP6166

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:

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 7.52.49 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 7.53.11 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 7.53.28 PM

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

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 7.53.44 PM

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…

Screen Shot 2019-07-16 at 8.10.48 PM

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!

art work by Mark Seabrook

IMG_8227

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

IMG_3533

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

ebay 382

“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.

IMG_1849

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

January 2009 001

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

IMG_3346

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

IMG_6297

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

IMG_6115

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

IMG_6119

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

IMG_7891

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

IMG_8028

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

img_1311

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

IMG_3105

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

IMG_5755

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

IMG_7227

“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.

a place of peace!

IMG_7881

the road to home:  we’re back on the island, in our hideout paradise!  it is a glorious time to be out here, in with the green and blue!  what love!

IMG_7933

young love birds:  ah yes, there is a lady in the house!  thank goodness for her!  when you’re in paradise with some good company everything is wild roses.

KQHH3350

Happiness is Big Bucks!  5×7 inches, acrylic on canvas board, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  found the frame at the goodwill, doctored it up and boom!  i like that one.

we’re back in the slab first thing tomorrow:  back in the art battle!  but this one is over at the Museum of something or other, across the river in Hull or whatever they call it these days.  anyway:  i believe it is an all indigenous art battle!  we’ll let you know how that one goes.  but first we are going to max our day here on the land:  blue skies and green grass, a river and a black bikini!

IMG_2342

there is plenty of time for more of this!  (we can make that drive to the city through the night: no use in spending a day in the car as far as i’m concerned!  lets do that one at night!)

 

Life on the Road

IMG_7805

Somewhere along the 401, west bound, before sunrise on June 22: This is at one of those OnRoute rest areas, open all night and good thing as this boy usually hits the open road around midnight.  Didn’t get on it until around 1 a.m. though, leaving Ottawa while the party was still in full service whoop!

IMG_7806

At Alexandra Park, downtown Orangeville, Ontario, Canada, June 22, 9 a.m. Saturday morning:  a beauty park for an Indigenous Day celebration, art show and sale.

IMG_7807

Super Heavy Duty:  at Alexandra Park, Saturday morning:  walking around the almighty.  Seeing that place name at that hour of the day on that fine morning sure made this anishnabe boy stop and think.

XFGV2411

At the Gala, in Ottawa, Thursday night, June 20th:  silent auction in progress.  That is a Mark Seabrook/twinravens authentic, up for grabs and it went!  It’s 24×36 inches on canvas, Stevenson paint on Canadian made canvas/stretcher.  We put those big colourful plants in there as a reminder there is medicine growing all around us, right there in our own backyards…

HAFA5246

At the Gala, in Ottawa:  Fancy Shawl Dancers getting ready to make their entrance.  They put on a grand show at the Gala and I’m glad I went!

KWCY7580

Petroglyphs Provincial Park, near Peterborough, Ontario, on June 16th: Father’s Day on the road.  The gals were going in a diff direction so I started out on my own and found myself out here.  Not many visitors on that day, so I made my way out there without a fuss.  The Parks folks won’t allow any photos of what’s in there so here are a few from Google:

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 7.39.34 AM

If you’re interested you can check out the story for yourself but I’ll just say that the date these made the news was in 1951, the same year the Sheg. thing up on the island made the news, and also the same year the Government of Canada made it legal for First Nations people to practice their own cultures once again.

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 7.40.06 AM

Super Heavy Duty:  check out that figure at top, who appears to be waving hello/good bye/who knows…

Screen Shot 2019-06-23 at 7.41.34 AM

Its that figure connected to the circular piece with the radiating lines that I wanted to get up close to and personal with.  Same with that large bird with the long legs.  Large alright:  these are huge pictures!  That bird is huge!

Like I said:  I was the only visitor in there and so walked around the area in the assigned walking areas, up above and separated from the rock surface.  I went around a couple of times, thinking, if I could just get down there in next to them, that would be amazing.  The young lad working the door was reading my mind!  He asked me where I was from and was I First Nations.  After I answered his questions using that twinravens accent, he said I could go in!  He soon produced a smudge bowl, some sage, and a form I had to fill out covering the who, what, where, when and why stuff.  The why:  Anishnabe, Spiritual Journey, Survivor of Colonialism.

While I was smudging down he opened the gate and said its all yours.  WOW!  I went in there with my sock feet touching down on the sacred, and man oh man, this fella could feel the almighty, loud and clear.  They had a ceremonial place just inside the gate, with tobacco on some stones and water in a copper bowl, so I went through the rituals on my own before I went in any further.  Thank goodness for that stuff.

early august 2007 016

Now this boy has had the good fortune of reaching, here and there on this good land we call Canada.  Here we are on the sands, south shore of Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron close by, at sunset, in some long ago August.

late july 2007 074

Here we are in the fields back home, Mindemoya, Manitoulin Island, the fields where I was raised and the fields I worked with my dad at the front.  This is in some long ago July, at sunset.

alone at Carter's Bay in a long ago summer time

Every now and again those hands manage to land:  here we are on the limestones at Carter’s Bay, south shore of Manitoulin Island, in some long ago afternoon in August.

These hands managed to land right on that character with the line connecting to the circular design.  And it landed on the bird with the long legs!  It landed on a bunch of them!

I wish I had the words to describe all of what was going on between me and those magical pictures, created so many moons ago.

What I can say for sure: it was breath taking.

I walked out of there, maybe knowing something differently.  By the time I was walking out of there, other visitors had arrived and I was aware of them watching me going through my own rituals.  As I was coming back through where the ceremonial tools were placed a tourist asked me:  What are those yellow and red things there on that rock?  I said they were tobacco ties left by others.

Super Heavy Duty visit.

IMG_7698

Check this out:  on the walk out I came across this turtle on the path.  Now I know it wasn’t there on the walk in because I would have seen it.  But it was there on the walk out.  Look at what it’s doing.  And do you know what the turtle is in old Anishnabe stories?

Holy smokes!

What a day, what a visit, and what sights to be seen.  What a Father’s Day indeed.

IMG_E7818

Sixties Scoop Survivor with Child, acrylic on canvas, 20×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.

IMG_7693

Ravens hitching a ride, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private Collection.

We have plenty more paintings to make, and places to go!

 

Fun Scenes!

IMG_7382

sunrise on the range, Saturday, May 18:  wowza!  and this was just a piece of what was going on out there.  when i rolled in around 4 a.m., it was full moon and clear skies!  decided i would wait up, watch the moon set and the sunrise: time well spent!

IMG_7391

good ole Bleue Eyes, chilling on the range, Saturday afternoon, May long weekend.  and gosh it was chilly alright!  i had a birch blaze going full on all through Saturday and Sunday too!  nice to cook a pot of soup on the wood stove top!

IMG_7412

Ten Mile Point, Manitoulin Island, Monday afternoon, May 20th.  on the road back to the slab, singing the blue blue blues…

IMG_7422

blazing east bound on highway 17, heading into the night, listening to “Ace of Spades” and wondering where is it all going…

IMG_7434

Pages 32/33, Book 3, Found Poetry.  i’m making some fun and very weird poems from Robertson D’s big words!  i’ll share one with you soon.  i’m also drawing pow wow dancers in this one seeing how Bob’s rambling on about Sioux Lookout, “natives”, “indians”, and the snooty Toronto idea in the Ontario North West.  i wonder if Bob met a real indian…  i mean really, where’d he do his research for this one?

IMG_7436

Book 3, Found Poetry, using The Cunning Man.  we’ll have some fun with this one and we won’t be in a fuss around it.