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Daphne Odjig CM OBC LLD RCA

Photo of Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCADaphne Odjig Biography

Celebrated artist Daphne Odjig was born in 1919 on the Wikwemikong Reserve, Manitoulin Island. Her heritage is a combination of Odawa, Potawatomi and English roots, the Native aspects of which were revealed to Odjig as a child on sketching excursions with her grandfather. From him, a stone-carver, she learned not only the legends of her ancestors, but also the use of curvilinear design for which she has become so well known.
Odjig had painted for most of the years of her life, but it was in the 1960's that she began to exhibit a deliberately Native perspective in her work and, like her grandfather, felt compelled to try to instruct the young about their heritage. To do so, she began to focus her art-making upon the legends, joys and realities of aboriginal life, while simultaneously refining her signature style of utilizing clear colours, soft, curving contours enclosed in black outlining, transparency and overlapping of shapes and modernist, abstracted figuration.

Odjig became a founding member of the first Canadian Native-run printmaking operation, the Canadian Professional Native Artist Association, or the "Native Group of Seven" as they were described in the 70's. By this time , she was exhibiting her work several times a year, and had already gained international exposure in the United States, Europe and Japan. Her numerous awards include Honorary Doctorates of Letters from Laurentian University and the University of Toronto and more recently from Okanagan University College in June 2002, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops in 2007, appointment to The Order of Canada, and the election to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. In 2007, she was also given the governor's General award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts, followed by investiture into the Order of British Columbia. She also received the Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Okanagan Arts Awards in 2010. In addition, in 1978 she was presented with an Eagle Feather by Chief Wakageshig on behalf of the Wikwemikong Reserve, in recognition of her artistic accomplishments- an honour previously reserved for men to acknowledge prowess in hunt or war. Documentaries by the CBC, the National Film Board and Tokyo Television have been made about Odjig, and she's completed commissions such as those for Expo '70 in Japan, Royal Ontario Museum, and the 27-foot mural at the Museum of Civilization, "The Indian in Transition".

Highly stylized portrayals of human interaction, activities and relationships, particularly in the context of Native culture, dominate Odjig's painting, drawing and printmaking. Circular motifs predominate, signifying to Odjig "completion, perfection, and ...woman,". In her own words "As an artist and as a person I have been impressed since childhood with the process that takes us from the inner image to the external reality of an image. For me it has been an endless source of delight and wonderment that awareness, thoughts and recognitions can come seemingly unbidden from an inner source that, in adulthood, I learned to call the unconscious. I know now as an adult, that every one of us is a fusion of the eternal, of ancestral wisdom or caution as well, a seer of the future- but some part of us always remains capable of responding to here and now with originality."

Designs inspired by Daphne's work have been used to produce clothing used in the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards in March of 2003.Recently more designs from her work have been used for ties, scarves and bandanas. In 2010 a line of children's clothing called the Nanabush collection was released in conjunction with reprinting the Nanabush series of books that Daphne illustrated previously.A collection of fine women's coats and jackets have also been released.

In 2007, 2008 and 2009 shows of Daphne Odjig's works were cris crossing North America. Forty years of her prints were being shown in Kamloops,BC and the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa,ON while forty years of her originals were being shown in Sudbury, ON, Kamloops,BC, Klienburg, ON The Institute of American Indian Art in Sante Fe, NM, Regina, SK and the National Gallery in Ottawa.

Daphne is the first Aboriginal female to have a one person show at the National Gallery. This is yet another milestone that Daphne has achieved in her lifetime.

At the time of updating this information I can report that Daphne has just celebrated her 95th birthday, on this 11th of September, 2014.

View a video of Daphne Odjig in the McMichael Collection here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kH1WvKDW7x8



Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: An Impressive Performance - 1990 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Travelling to Places Unknown Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: The Sentinels of Knowledge -1981
An Impressive Performance - 1990
48 x 40 in.   Acrylic on canvas
Travelling to Places Unknown
10.5 x 7.5 in.   Coloured pencil
The Sentinels of Knowledge -1981
30 x 24 in.   Acrylic on canvas
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: In Tune With The Infinite -  2004 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Come Celebrate Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Three Faces of Laura
In Tune With The Infinite - 2004
20 x 16 in.   Silk Screen Print
Come Celebrate
7.5 x 5.5 in.   Coloured pencil
Three Faces of Laura
5 x 5.5 in.   Coloured pencil
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Boats In Harbour, Victoria -1963 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: She Walks Til Dawn - 2012 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Timber Lease In Paradise - 1986
Boats In Harbour, Victoria -1963
22 x 30 in.   Oil on board
She Walks Til Dawn - 2012
5 x 5.5 in.   Coloured pencil
Timber Lease In Paradise - 1986
59.5 x 31.5 in.   Acrylic on canvas
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Treasures Within the Forest - 1984 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: The Drummer Speaks - 2012 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA:  Just Hatched - 2012
Treasures Within the Forest - 1984
20 x 16 in.   Acrylic on canvas   
The Drummer Speaks - 2012
5 x 5.5 in.   Coloured pencil
Just Hatched - 2012
5.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Nesting  Birds - 2012 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: My Religious Dilemma Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: The Weaver - 2012
Nesting Birds - 2012
5.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
My Religious Dilemma
26.5 x 33.75 in.   Glass
The Weaver - 2012
5.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Learning - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio Set 95/99 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Mystery Unknown - 2011 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Listening - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio  Set 95/99
Learning - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio Set 95/99
32 x 21 in.   Print Media
Mystery Unknown - 2011
5.75 x 4.75 in.   Coloured pencil
Listening - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio Set 95/99
32 x 21 in.   Print Media
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Belonging - One of Four - Homage Grandfather Portfolio - Set  95/99 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Homeward Bound - 1983 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Orchid In Bloom - 2012
Belonging - One of Four - Homage Grandfather Portfolio - Set 95/99
30 x 21 in.   Print Media
Homeward Bound - 1983
30 x 24 in.   Acrylic on canvas
Orchid In Bloom - 2012
5.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: The Squaw Man - 1975 - 41/60 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Tree Climbing  - 92/125 - 1981 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Playing Hide and Seek - 99/125 - 1981
The Squaw Man - 1975 - 41/60
43 x 31 in.   Silk Screen Print
Tree Climbing - 92/125 - 1981
20 x 18 in.   Print Media
Playing Hide and Seek - 99/125 - 1981
20 x 18 in.   Print Media
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Three Powerful Influences - 1981 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Culture In Evolution - 1988 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Sweetgrass Blessing - 1978
Three Powerful Influences - 1981
48 x 40 in.   Acrylic on canvas   
Culture In Evolution - 1988
54 x 40 in.   Acrylic on canvas   
Sweetgrass Blessing - 1978
26 x 30 in.   Acrylic on canvas   
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Comforting - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio  Set 95/99 Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Trauma of our Time Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: To Be Loved - 1980
Comforting - One of Four - Homage To Grandfather Portfolio Set 95/99
32 x 21 in.   Print Media
Trauma of our Time
10 x 7.5 in.   Coloured pencil
To Be Loved - 1980
32 x 30 in.   Acrylic on canvas   
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Home in the Forest Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Forest Energy Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Walking Among Trees
Home in the Forest
7.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Forest Energy
7.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Walking Among Trees
7.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil   
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Walking Together Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: We Present to You Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Forest Hug
Walking Together
7.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
We Present to You
7.5 x 5 in.   Coloured pencil
Forest Hug
24 x 18 in.   Pastel
Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Forest Spirits Daphne Odjig  CM OBC LLD RCA: Forest Sunset
Forest Spirits
24 x 18 in.   Pastel
Forest Sunset
24 x 18 in.   Pastel

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