- Anishinaabe/Canadian Painter-
© 2008 by Vanessa Liston
"My art reflects my own spiritual personality. Driven from birth by the spirit force within, I have always been convinced that I am a great artist. Only the external and commercial society around me which has caused interruptions and deviations to occur has attempted to dictate to me and establish false values and ideals. The path through this maze has not been easy. Now, thirty-five years later, fortified by my grandfather's spiritual teachings during the first nine years of my life, I make peace with the external world, and I recognize the higher powers of the spirit.
I am a shaman-artist. Traditionally, a shaman's role was to transmit power and the vibrating forces of the spirit through objects known as talismans. In this particular case, a talisman is something that apparently produces effects that are magical and miraculous. My paintings are also icons; that is to say, they are images which help focus on spiritual powers, generated by traditional belief and wisdom. I also regard myself as a kind of spiritual psychologist. I bring together and promote the ultimate harmony of the physical and the spiritual world.
My art speaks and will continue to speak, transcending barriers of nationality, of language and of other forces that may be divisive, fortifying the greatness of the spirit which has always been the foundation of the Great Ojibway."
Norval Morrisseau, 1979-