Thursday, December 23, 2010

The art of Isaac Bignell

Self taught artist Isaac Bignell was a Cree painter, born on The Pas reserve, 400 miles north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. During his short life he lived in Winnipeg, Minneapolis and Vancouver. Even influenced by Benjamin Chee Chee, Isaac eventually developed his own style of sponge painting, creating wildlife images distinguished by flowing lines. His work is very popular, and many of his images have been made into prints and cards. Isaac died at the age of 37 on December 17, 1995 at the Munson Medical Centre in Traverse City, Michigan USA.
Although he died at the peak of his career Isaac Bignell's presence lives on through First Nations artists who apprenticed under him: Russell Noganosh, Ernie Scoles, Donald Peters and Garnet Tobacco. Also, there are other artists influenced by Isaac Bignell like Sinclair Sabourin & Leo “Sweetpea” Nielsen, who was mentored by Garry Meeches and is also following in the footsteps of Benjamin Chee Chee, and Clemence Wescoupe.
Isaac Bignell's art is in numerous collections all over the world and he is the artist who inspired the NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG's Blog Master to start collecting Canada's First Nations art.

"My art is strongly influenced by the traditions of my people. I was brought up to live off the land from an early age. Hunting and trapping, living in harmony with the earth has taught me to respect the animals and the spirit and power of nature. I hoop dance and sing Pow Wows to maintain my cultural heritage. Through art and dancing I attempt to influence native people to continue their cultural ways; the gift that was given to us by the Great Spirit."
Isaac Bignell

Extracted from the Norval Morriseau Blog. To visit this site, please click here.

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