Posts tagged ‘ojibwe’

SUN INFINITY MOON Book Review

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Mark Seabrook is multifaceted with a tremendously creative spirit and a flair for storytelling, using the musical, visual and literary arts to carry forward his unique “voice”.  

SUN INFINITY MOON is the latest literary offering from Mark and is a collection of anecdotal accounts – years in the making – as told through an Anishnabe character named Sun, whom, along with all the others who make an appearance in this book is reportedly fictitious, existing, as Mark states in the foreword “wholly within the author’s imagination”…  ”Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locals [sic] is entirely coincidental.”

For readers who may be familiar with Mark Seabrook’s life and works, the coincidental resemblances are pronounced and one finds it impossible to refrain from attempting to deduce what is real and what is imagined.  Perhaps that is precisely the way Mark intends it to be?

We begin with:  We found a pile of human bones on the floor of the tree house.  A pretty great opening line for book of stories!  There was no order to the way they were piled, it was all abstract expressionism, Jackson Pollock style […] It was that fuckin’ skull, upright, jaw missing, top teeth gnarling on the coarse floor boards, frontal and parietal blaring like a pair of brand new stripper shoes mailed in from L.A., that caught my attention.  At some point in time that was someone’s think tank.  Someone’s whole of everything was up there, everything they could imagine and cherish, childhood memories, first love, the nightmares, were stowed and secure in that brain case, which was now bone dry, on a floor.  Empty.  The maggots had cleaned house and run off.”  Mark’s phrasing and descriptors all throughout the book are marvellously evocative whether they are conveying Anishnabe angst or reflecting on non-native practices.

And there is A LOT of Anishnabe angst.  And anger.  And revengeful ravings.  Amidst the playful dark humour and erotic tales there is an unmistakable undercurrent of humans behaving badly.  Such non-edifying things I have trained myself to avoid – but as Mark is a friend and I was proud he had followed through on his goal of publishing this book, I thought it was important to give it a read and gain some understanding.  

Mark had a compelling desire to convey a “sick and disgusting story” (his words, private correspondence) without an editor’s assistance, for fear that any editing would perhaps make the stories less “his” and risk becoming adulterated by the influence of non-native manipulation.  Such close protectionism causes the book to suffer, however, and I understand a second printing is in the works, with some essential grammatical improvements that should not conflict with the telling of these tales.

Nevertheless, for all it’s disjointed recapitulations and errors, SUN INFINITY MOON is actually rich with layers of meaning, above and beyond the unpleasant disrespect the characters (both native and non-native) show for each other, for non-human creatures and for the environment.  The deepest layer Mark Seabrook crafts for readers is that a great wrong has been done to Anishnabe youth with lingering, festering wounds that continue to hinder mental wellness and self-actualization.  That dark layer of meaning is the type of wrong that occurs in all cultures, worldwide, and to this reviewer signals a psychological malfunction present within the human species itself.  It is a darkness that when illuminated by awareness, inspiration and inner discipline can be channeled into human constructs that ennoble, enrich and transform, allowing each of us to better discover our inherent talent and live up to our full potential.

If the intention of this book was to amuse and entertain while unveiling a host of deleterious behaviours and events, intermingling sweet memories with frightful ones, it has achieved that end.  It may have been cathartic for Mark Seabrook to write such a series of tales…future works will reflect that or not.  Within Mark’s character “Moon”, we see it is possible to develop awareness…perhaps in a future literary exploration, Mark can expand upon that and use his creative storytelling techniques to help humans transcend the species-wide affliction of destructive behaviours.  That would be a book I would be glad to recommend!

L.  Manitoulin Island

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Page 15, from “May 11, 1996”, SUN.  Sun Infinity Moon, by Mark Seabrook.

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Back cover:  Sun Infinity Moon, by Anishnabe artist and author: Mark Seabrook.

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Missing In Action, painted face masks, acrylic on canvas, 30×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private collection.

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Missing In Action, on display in Ottawa, 2014.

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Killed In Action, painted face mask and acrylic on canvas, 30×30 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Private collection.  (On display in Ottawa, 2014)

Sun Infinity Moon Book Review

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“I finished the book yesterday, I couldn’t put it down! The sex scenes were hot, humorous and I loved Mark’s rawness, his truth, the details, the characters, journeys, their thoughts: so real!

I could hear his voice and the way he talks, and jokes, telling the story!

The history and raw truth are so touching, I wanted to hear more. I felt a deeper compassion hearing his experiences. The “nish” accent was hilarious but true to our men. I laughed a lot and ohh that ending made me cry!

His detail is impeccable. I wanted more about their journeys. So many more avenues: more books, a play, a movie!

His readers will want more.

So glad I went to the book launch and got my copy. I can think of so many that would enjoy this book and could relate: namely native males I know, with similar tough journeys.”

M.D., Manitoulin Island F/N.

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Back cover of the artist proof:  filled with typos and layout errors!  Ah well.  The reprint will be here soon and hopefully bug free…

I have a couple of more book reviews coming in soon!  But I’ll tell you this:  writing a story like this and having folks give it the once over, the response is SUPER telling!  i.e.:  one gal was all friendly and happy and poops and giggles before, after…  she wouldn’t even look at me!  I mean she would cross over to the other side of the street when she saw me coming along!  WOW!

I get that this IS a tough sell.  We’re a long way from the Disneyland and Hollywood Indian stereotypes.  But I’m not a Joseph Boyden or an Archie Grey Owl!  Ha ha.

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twinravens on November 5th, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches.  One of the 25 or so pieces we have ready for this weekend’s pop up art show in Perth, Ontario!  Details are on the Facebook page.

Life and Times of a Famous Native Canadian Artist, Vol. 3

ha ha!  joking of course.  we’re not booked to be at the MET any time soon nor do we have important pieces over at the NGC.  we are the classic:  legends in our own minds!  and so yes, with a chuckle:

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the “Black Framed Originals” we’ve been working on this autumn, preparing for a pop up flash art show in November.  that is an 18×24 inch canvas board, Mother Earth sketch,  and it is one of 20 we have ready go!  the painting just above it i have been looking at for about a year.

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the painting just above, Detail: Who Is She?, 30×48″, on canvas.  the original painting of the girl on the lake, winter, 1990, yeah it was a peaceful scene but i just had to HACK it!  5 years ago it came back from where it was on display and by that time i had opened up the “art bridge” and re read a few articles on Jackson Pollock!  so this canvas was just begging to be re worked.

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yes yes it is not the classically painted face but that wasn’t what we were going for then nor is it what we’re going for today!  fact of the matter is: hey i like this one.  like i said i’ve been looking at it for a year, hanging on my wall over here in Ottawa, and i’m starting to think maybe i’ll keep that one.

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Striking a Pose, in Whitedog, Ontario, sometime in the spring of 1991.  that was on the Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock National Tour, Debajehmujig Theatre Group, and we’re about half way into that tour.  i had friends who are now long dead and gone, dust and bones, from up there, who hadn’t been home in years, and when i told them i might be passing through their old starting point they told me to get some pictures.  this of course was not the photo they were expecting!  (story of my life, ha!)

i recently saw this old photo and others when muddling and “muggling” the idea about the next writing project:  Fighting In Hell, an anishnabe’s art journey.  the title for that writing project is still in the works and the stories within: an artist story, what to leave in, what to leave out?

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that is the great Gabor Mate and his lad, in Toronto on Friday night, October 18th.  they were in town to make a presentation on parents and their adult children and the business of healing.  very interesting!  but my question was and is this:  what if the adult child has had several sets of parents from bio parents to foster parents to adoptive parents of a different culture, all within the first 7 or 8 years of life?

175 participants signed up for that 3 day presentation and you can bet any time Gabe opened the floor for questions about 80 hands shot up, and usually the same 80 hands!  so i didn’t get to ask my question.  you see Gabe is a genius.  you have questions along these lines, he has answers.  google his name if you’re not in the know.

175 x 350 = 61 250.  nice work!

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half of the “artist uniform”, at the conference, front row.  you can bet the other half of the artist uniform had things to read/say and that place being 98% women participants, there certainly were a few readers!  Nature.  Cheaper than Therapy.

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back in Markham before the bug out: wiggling the toes!  the boss man is up on the 9th chilling and i’m in the lobby switching out of the artist wear black boots for some basics: the new car has a standard transmission and folks i like to have my barefeet on those three peddles.  this being mid October, black socks will have to do!

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blazing down the 401, east bound, Sunday night alone, in the brand new limo:  put the radio on and up came 10cc, I’m Not in Love.  it being the oldies FM station they weren’t cheap and played the 6 minute version.  sweet.  kooky too, riding through the mild autumn night, all those heavy duty thoughts from the conference stewing, all those heavy duty memories from what seems like another life time ago, stewing, the open road, the wiggly toes, and the here and now…

kind of peculiar how things work out…

as a refresh: here are the opening few lines of the original life and times of, Vol. 1, posted way back in the autumn of 2017.  ah but what a beautiful September it was in 2017:  6 weeks of Indian Summer on the open range, a paint brush in my hand during the day, a glass or a key pad at night.  30 C during the afternoon, 20 C at night, for 6 wonderful weeks, down in the cosy back country of Tehkummah: no light or noise pollution.  no neighbours.  nothing but a suitcase full of 20 dollar bills and the artist with an agenda.

Life And Times Of A Famous Native Canadian Artist…

ha! i say that jokingly! because i’m out here on the range, going on 21 days now without a note of art conversation, idea expressed verbally, or hint of a hand to hold while under the mighty Milky Way. she’s new moon boys. and so, alone under the almighty, with eagles roosting down by the river (what music they make first thing in the morning!) and the great wide open: there is room to stretch the “art making arms”. we have some good looking pieces but we’re also getting down to the bottom of the paint barrels.

so last night around 7 i stowed the gear, set a table for one, lit a candle, cracked open a Paul Jaboulet Aine Cornas Domaine de Saint Pierre (2012), sparked up the youtube for a little dinner music and instead got attracted to a documentary about alien abductions. i watched the nutty scenes, heard the kook house stories, heard the so called experts blabbering on about all this stars and moon and space stuff and…

From the twinravens blog:  September 2017.

now i have no idea what i did to the comments section here,  see it is turned off.  but you can always email at twinravens at hotmail or twinravens at gmail.

miigwetch.

Paintings by Mark Seabrook

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available for purchase as of Oct. 3/019.

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Power Bird No. 5, acrylic on canvas board, 9×12 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

I have to admit I’m having fun with these pieces in frames!  Normally we sell them as unframed canvas boards but I decided to switch things up last summer, and so here we are in October with a sizeable collection, getting ready for that show in November!

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Power Bird No. 6, acrylic on canvas board, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, from the original run in 2013, artist collection.

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Twinravens, Winter Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.IMG_8998

Tehkummah Scenes, acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Big Bucks!  Acrylic on canvas board, 5×7 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Power Bird, acrylic on canvas, 8×10 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

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Visiting from Over Seas, acrylic on canvas board, 14×18 inches, by anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  Available.

We ship anywhere.

And so yes:  I’m having some fun here framing up these new pieces and going through the collections, framing up a few of the war horses, pieces I just couldn’t part with, playing with a new look.  And it IS fun.  We’ll be ready for that show in November!

 

Night on the Range

Spent a few minutes after the fun had been done, gave Bob Dylan’s “I and I” as heard on Real Live (1985) a listen, and looked up at the mega stars, Australian Shiraz in hand, and pondered the many sunrises…

Sunrise on the Range

Sunrise on the Range

Looked at the work from today: small stuff but fun, with room for adventure once we have one of those windy days on the bridge, a few cans of big paint, a few butter knives, and some sun tanned arms.

Another sunrise on the Range

Another sunrise on the Range

Thought about my walk around in my new rubber boots, tied tight as the snow is up around my knees, pointed my camera in a hundred directions and never snapped a one of them.

Another sunrise on the Range.

Another sunrise on the Range.

It’s Thursday night on the open range. I can hear the river and the wind and I can feel November in the corner of my rooms.

Sunrise on the Range.

Sunrise on the Range.

We shall soon see what tomorrow has for us. I’ll dream too, of a time for this…

Thanksgiving at the River

Thanksgiving at the River

January 9th/2011 Winter Wonderland

aanii!  boozhoo!  and halloo there!  so this blog thing huh…  we’ll get a year or two into it and msn will change it again.  i had me a fun little community on msn several years ago and they pulled the plug on that: gone!  well that sucked cause i had tons of very cool photos on there, stories and friends and the whole shoot’n matchola is gone.

i thought that was going to happen to my space here but i see some of those old journal entries have survived and i’m thankful cause those too, are some fun stories from days long gone.

well anywho.  i’m out here on the range in the middle of winter.  thank the almighty we made it this far and that we have a big blue sky and snow covered fields with a river cutting through, and a warm house in which to view it from.  we’ve been out here since May Long Weekend and what a change in scenery its been:  from downtown Ottawa, living on Booth Street with the madness of Chinatown going on right outside the front window, to this place: boon docks central on Manitoulin Island, back home with the natives and non, Green Acres, and zero light pollution, noise pollution, zilchola in the pollution department!  its nothing but the great wide open.  yes indeed what a change in scenery.  you can see most of it on the msn photos but my facebook too has a bundle of pics of the homestead coming back from the dead and the incredible scenes from the summer of 2010.  wow what a way to start the day:  barefoot in the river with a cup of hot coffee and…  well hey.  its a big scene out there and tough to describe.  (my english has never been much of anything.)

so yesterday, once i had the fire going nicely and we’d warmed up the rooms (its minus 20 out there), i cracked open the paints and the brushes and fooled with a few new ideas in the paint department.  you see we have a show at the end of January, at the Wild Oat in Ottawa, down there in the Glebe which is a very groovy part of town.  the surviving war horses and others from the Sweetgrass Bistro show in November are already in position, so we are good to go but i want something in there with the bells and whistles jangling and blowing!

usually we show the paintings on gallery canvas with the edges painted and a tasty little glaze over those acrylics. they hang without frames.  mind you framing would be an expensive dealio in 7.5 inch heelios cause they’re big!  like 36×48 or 40×48.  so what i’m doing this time is working smaller, sketch size, 8×10, 11×14, and framing those up with matts and the whole nine yards.  that’s going to make a diff i hope come show time!  folks can take those with them, ready to hang where ever, and they’ll fit nicely right under their arms.

well whatever happens its no sweat cause somewhere down the road those paintings will sell.  maybe not at the Wild Oat, but we won’t have any of them by June 15th.  that much is for certain.  so today, once we get the place warmed up, and clear away some of the xmas decorations!!!, i’ll get back to the basics and pick up where i left off yesterday afternoon.  truth is i’m anxious to see what these little paintings will look like framed and matted.  (we could be onto something tasty!)

i’ll say this too:  once i’d put the brushes away for the day, the ladies and i walked up 20th sideroad about half mile and the sunset was fan flippin tastico!  cold to the tune of at least 15 below, but we were snuggled up nicely in our heavy duty winter gear and i was working up sweat draggin that sleigh with an 8 year old girl playing on it.  the walk and that fresh air is what we needed to make an evening of it in the town of Tehkummah proper, meeting with other artists and like minded folks.

so we’ll see what develops over the next 12 to 15 hours, perfect day for it, clear and ice cold but what a view!  the river is running fast and she’s steaming!

don’t forget i’ve got my youtube channel if you want to see the river.  just type in twinravens2000 and you’ll get my channel complete with vids of the river, the shoreline at prov. bay, and various art related and NR music thangs.

chi miigwetch!