There is a wonderful, sense of humor in some of the pieces, it's that balance of mystical and mischievous that is often found in First Nations art and storytelling.
In Linus Woods dreams' spaceships, horses and warriors in traditional dress clash together in bold brilliant color. The past and the future combine in ways that are similar to the reality we know but are drifting and twisting away from reality. Like the dreams of an Elk.
From "Elk Dreamer's Dream" exhibit, Linus Woods, at Urban Shaman (courtesy Linus Woods)
Urban Shaman Gallery is displaying a new exhibit, called "Elk Dreamer's Dream", by First Nations visual artist Linus Woods. The Dakota/Ojibway artist who comes from the Long Plains First Nation, Manitoba, says, "I've painted some subjects that I've always wanted to paint and I've always wanted to paint for this show. Things I paint on my cave wall. What would compel me to paint this on my cave wall?"
His work leaps off the canvas in bold and brilliant colours. In one work, a horse with bizarre proportions drifts upon a city scape. In another a First Nations man with an eagle feather in his head dress while he deftly surfs across a massive multi colored wave. The works exhibited in Elk Dreamers Dream challenge and define what it means to be a First Nations visual artist.
There is a wonderful, sense of humor in some of the pieces, it's that balance of mystical and mischievous that is often found in First Nations art and storytelling. The image of a warrior shooting with bow and arrow at a flying saucer is both disconcerting and funny.
Woods is largely a self- taught artist though he trained with Jane Ash Poitras one of the most acclaimed First Nations artists in Canada. Of the current show Woods says, "Elk dreamers dream of how things are going to be coming up in the future. 500 years ago we didn't know the future unless we listened to the visions and dreams."
Miles Morrisseau, Winnipeg writer & broadcaster