Animals in Conflict

Joshim Kakegamic
Northern Ontario
“All life is connected. The artist to the brush, the brush to the creatures and the trees, the paint to the earth, the canvas to the plants.”
Roy Thomas, Artist

Kakegamic is usually thought of as part of the Woodland School of Indigenous art, of which Norval Morriseau, Kakegamic’s brother-in-law and mentor is one of the most prominent artists. Woodland art draws on the prehistoric artistic traditions and spirituality of the Ojibwe people and you will see recurring themes and symbols across the work of different artists. It portrays an interdependent spiritual world, without barriers between the inner and outer self. An ‘x-ray’ style of drawing human and animal figures brings the inner spirit to the surface. Dark lines in and around figures suggest an exchange of information or power, communication that in this work spills into conflict, a snapshot of the eternal struggle between good and evil. Notice how the animals bleed into one another, so close are their relationships as one group faces down another.

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