Daphne Odjig, My World, Their World, 1979,
acrylic on canvas, 26 in. x 24 in.,
signed and dated recto. Titled verso.
Daphne Odjig, (1919 – 2016) frequently referred to as the “Grandmother of First Nations Art in Canada”, was born in the village of Wikwemikong on Manitoulin Island. I really like this painting, (reproduced above), for its unique visual narrative, and the traditional Anishnaabe beliefs conveyed through out the composition. “My World, Their World” encompasses several important themes including the circle of life, recognized in the overall form of the painting. The painting is beautifully structured with a series of overlapping and transparent curvilinear designs with the figures bent forward, brought together, the painting exudes a sense of restrained collective power, or energies about to be released. We recognize the importance of family to the artist as she highlights a family intersecting the physical and spiritual world. Perhaps the painting is an autobiographical portrait, the artist remembering her parents and grandparents, her spiritual elders, watching over Daphne as a young girl. Of course, this is purely my interpretation of the painting. Wouldn’t it be amazing to hear the artist’s explanation for this fascinating work?
“I have a lot of feeling about my dreams…. As a matter of fact, when I had a show in 1979 called “Time Passages”… the time passages didn’t involve today’s living, but the time that I have passed in another world.”1 ~ Daphne Odjig
James Rottman Fine Art carries a significant inventory of historical artworks by Daphne Odjig. Do not hesitate to contact us with inquiries regarding this artwork or other works by Daphne Odjig.
1Daphne Odjig, A Retrospective, 1946 – 1985, Thunder Bay National Exhibition Centre and Centre for Indian Art, 1985, pg. 32.
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