Sunday 25 April 2010

Earth Mother With Her Children - Norval Morrisseau - 1967

Earth Mother With Her Children
Norval Morrisseau
Acrylic on cedar wood, 30ftx20ft, 1967

"The Indians of Canada bid you welcome. Walk in our moccasins the trail from our past. Live with us in the here and now. Talk with us by the fire of the days to come."

Visitors to the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo '67 were greeted and welcomed with the above sign. Montreal’s World’s Fair which coincided with Canada’s 100th birthday of Confederation hosted almost 100 foreign and local theme pavilions and is estimated to have attracted over 50 million visitors during the six months of operation. The fair was held from April 28 to October 27, 1967 on Ile. St. Helene and Ile Notre Dame.

The above painting on a cedar exterior wall of the Indians of Canada Pavilion was painted by Norval Morrisseau and his apprentice Carl Ray. On the bottom of the right hand corner Norval Morrisseau inscribed his dedication:

"In honour of my Grandfather Potan Nanakonagos and to our Ancestors"

  • NORVAL MORRISSEAU AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE IMAGE MAKERS (page 22); ISBN: 0-458-97390-4, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1984 /Methuen Publications/;
  • THE ART OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU (page 32) /Sinclair, Lister, Jack Pollock, and Norval Morrisseau/; ISBN: 0-458-93820-3 /Toronto, Ontario: Methuen, 1979./;
  • THE MORRISSEAU PAPERS: "An Inside Story" (page 42); ISBN: 978-0-9731567-3-7, 2007 /Perdida Press/
STARDREAMER NOTES: As a 10 year old I journeyed with my mother and sister from Thunder Bay to Montreal by Greyhound to experience Expo 67. I retain no memory of meeting Morrisseau or seeing his mural while there. I do however remember revellng in my first outdoor concert performed by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass and stepping into an American space capsule that remains seared in memory because I got to touch the burns on its hull from re-entry.

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