Artist Spotlight: Thomas Sinclair
Gwartzman's Community Spotlight Post
Thomas Sinclair is Ojibway from Couchching First Nation. He grew up in Thunder Bay in the early 80's and was immersed in the beginning of the Woodland art movement. He was taught Woodland style by Isadore Wadow until the time of Isadore's death in 1984. The rest fo childhood was spent at pow wows and sitting around campfires at night listening to Aadizookanan, the elders telling sacred stories, the tales of Nanaboozhoo.
The Dancing Shapeshifter, Thomas Sinclair
The Trickster and the Shapeshifter, Thomas Sinclair
The Gifts of The White Buffalo Calf Woman, Thomas Sinclair
Buffalo Boy Song, Thomas Sinclair
The Naming Ceremony, Thomas Sinclair
Adult life was spent camping and fishing, hunting and trapping and relearning the meanings of the Woodland art symbols that have their roots in the birch bark scrolls and teaching stones found at sacred sites all through Mother Earth.
Bagonageezhik, Thomas Sinclair
Recently Sinclair was invited to paint this pictograph on the outer walls of the Royal Ontario Museum:
"[The pictograph is] painted in a mixture of the natural pigment of the old pictographs and an acrylic base. There are 7 thunderbirds. For the seven clans. They form a circle to represent the star system known as the seven sisters or The Pleiades. In Ojibway culture it’s called Bagonageezhik. The hole in the sky. The seven thunderbirds are holding open the doorway to heaven. So that the ancestors in the ROM have a way home again. Back to the spirit world. For my ancestors burial mounds taken from Agency One. Now known as the Seven Oaks. The seven thunderbirds also represent the seven grandfather teachings. So that we can move forward in a more healthy and peaceful and understanding relationship."
And a recent video on his mural works in Sault Ste. Marie can be viewed here: