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Norval Morrisseau also referred to as "Copper Thunderbird" was a talented Canadian artiste. Morisseau was born in Beardmore, Ontario on March 14, 1932, and he was brought up by his loving grandparents. He was the eldest in a family of seven boys. Whilst growing up, Morrisseau was educated at par with the Great Native Tradition. He was able to learn several narratives, legends, as well as divine things from his grandfather (Greg, p.6). As a teenager, Morrisseau travelled around ancient sites and canoe ways on a reserve. He would momentarily pay exceptional interest to the rock art found all over the place. It is this particular work of art that motivated him to go ahead and start painting his feelings, imaginings and vision. It was quite unfortunate for him since elders always discouraged him from painting. At the time he was nineteen, Morrisseau was diagnosed with tuberculosis, and which was a lethal sickness.
Amongst the Indian people. ÿFollowing this, Morrisseau was referred to a long-standing care hospital at Fort William. Slightly did Morrisseau have the notion that his pathway to achievement would commence here. The doctors often encouraged him to paint and it is also while at the same hospital where Morrisseau had had several thoughts and dreams pressing him to be a shaman artist. At one time, Morrisseau was quoted saying that his paintings were icons, some kind of images that helped people focus on divine powers mostly originating from conventional conviction and understanding. For the first few years, Morrisseau's paintings were what had commonly been recognized as x-ray vision. This particular class of artistic paintings often felt or alleged the inside of animals as well as people.
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The artist paints what's felt or perceived inside animals including people. This simply implied that the x-ray analysis of his subjects was often depicted in his paintings. It was in the in the early 1962 when Morrisseau met up with Jack Pollock, ÿ a renowned Toronto artiste gallery proprietor. Pollock was so stunned with Morrisseau's artistic work that he even set Morrisseau's paintings on a solo exhibition at his Toronto gallery. This particular incident led to a stirrup jealousy amongst his fellow clannish members who condemned Morrisseau for edifying the tribe's myths and way of life in the work of art. Defending himself, Morrisseau wrote a book titled 'Legends of my People, the Great Ojibway', citing that all what he wanted was to reinstate the cultural and self-importance of the Ojibway people.
Morrisseau can be remembered as one of the few self-taught artiste. He had his own skill and artistic expressions which incarcerated prehistoric myths and descriptions that were often revealed to him through dreams or visions. In addition, he was initially condemned by the indigenous society for the reason that his descriptions revealed conventional divine facts. Originally he would paint on any substance that he may possibly find, particularly birch bark, as well as moose hide. It was Dewdney who introduced the idea of using earth-tone colours and customary fabric, which he particularly regarded as suitable to Morrisseau's native technique.
The focus of his artistic work during the early period focused mainly on legends and customs of the Anishnaabe people. He is recognized to have instigated the Woodland School of native art, a place where images analogous to the petro glyphs of the Great Lakes area were at the moment incarcerated in work of art and prints.
In both 2005 and 2006, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa prepared a retrospective of Morrisseau work of art. This became the foremost time ever that the Gallery devoted a solo exhibition to an indigenous artist. During the NAAF Awards held at the Sony Centre in Toronto on March 22, 2008, Norval Morrisseau was awarded with a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award (ô3).