Ojibwe artist Patrick Paul

Patrick Paul is an Ojibwe artist who paints in the tradition of the Woodlands school of art, as introduced to the world by Norval Morrisseau, whose father Potan, a respected Shaman and elder, pioneered the style. It draws inspiration from rock pictography and sacred birch bark scrolls to express concepts found in Indigenous spirituality. The Woodlands style translates this knowledge using a distinctive visual vocabulary of boldly-coloured figurative forms and shapes on a single plane articulated by thick black outlines.

Woodlands art is a representation of a culture whose myths are rooted in the Canadian Shield, where rugged forests, erratic boulders, and glistening waters welcomed the first human inhabitants following the recession of the glaciers eons ago. There is no art more deeply centred in this vast and ancient land.

Patrick Paul was born in Winnipeg and currently lives with his family in Dauphin, located in Treaty 2 territory. He never imagined taking up a paint brush until last April when creativity and a desire to explore his heritage captured his imagination. Patrick’s imagery depicts animals, community across the generations, and the landscapes, traditions, and legends that filled his heart while growing up in Thunder Bay and northwestern Ontario, where his extended family calls home.

To read the full article by Michael Bussière, visit the Ottawa Life Magazine Web site.

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