A group of paintings the artist calls ‘Dreams’ tells the story of the First Peoples of this continent, and in many ways, reflect the experiences and traditions of aboriginal peoples around the world.
They tell of how the First People lived, died, and travelled the many winding trails and great paths of
Turtle Island, and beyond. They tell about the life and culture before the coming of the Europeans, their connections to Mother Earth and all her children, two legged, four legged, feathered and finned.
The art also deals with the experiences of aboriginal people in a modern world, the displacement and disconnection with their roots, the loss of identity, and the long path back to what really matters.
Images are gleaned from stories heard as a child, stories read in the many hours spent in research, stories heard round the campfire; these images take form and life when the mind is at rest, arriving, growing and maturing with time, until they are ready to take shape on the canvas.
IceBear credits his art and the strength of the visions the Spirits and the Creator have always given him for his survival of those early years.
The trauma of his youth has been put away, relegated to that handwoven mental basket
from which it only seeps out occasionally, the wisps of that childhood floating almost unseen through his work.
The essence of what informed IceBear's world view as a small child appeared as drawings. which were his primary means of communication. He spoke only his native Ojibwe when he was taken from his family and community on the shores of Georgian Bay, and when he learned to speak English he did so with a stutter. That gradually faded as he learned to survive in the white man’s city.
Courage Eagle Feather Gallery
Eagle Feather Gallery
Shaman and the Shapeshifter (1994)
‘Return to Eden’
6’ x 9’
This painting was created for exhibition at the Florence Biennale in Italy in 2009.
It was also exhibited in Austria, is now in a private collection.
The Spirit with the painted face was modeled on a mask carved by Chief Tony Hunt and used in this painting with his generous permission.