by Sharon Jackson
KAGAWONG––“Thank you for coming,” said an enthusiastic Mark Seabrook as he welcomed a gathering to view his paintings at 4elements Living Arts Studio. “I am happy and proud to show my paintings, both old and new.”
Mr. Seabrook was raised in Mindemoya, attended art school in the 1980s and moved back to the Island five years ago.
When Mr. Seabrook rode on the bus to high school to M’Chigeeng as a teen, the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation building caught his attention: two large woodland style paintings were on display in the front lobby. The arena building depicting a canoe on the water also stood out in his mind at the time as being ‘pretty interesting stuff.’
“I loved art history and did well,” he shared. His marks in art class were in the 60s, he admitted.
Inspired throughout his career by artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Roth, Mr. Seabrook, who is First Nations, did not grow up on a Reserve and wanted to get back to the culture. He has performed in Debajehmujig plays, penned a play, worked with a musical group and written about First Nations issues.
His involvement in these different projects led him to “try to figure out my Native identity” which, at times, he shared “was neither here nor there.” Mr. Seabrook shared that at times he didn’t know where he belonged.
Being interested in both modern and Woodland art, Mr. Seabrook sought a way to combine the two.
While teaching at a First Nations school several years ago, Mr. Seabrook shared that while he had access to a television, the reception was not always reliable and the static on the screen created lines. These random lines are used in many of his latest creations and referred to as scatter technique.
Mr. Seabrook’s website www.tworavens.com is based on his fascination with nature and that no matter where he was on the farm while growing up, there always seemed to be pairings of ravens in one place. Even though they had the wide open sky to fly in and countless fence posts to perch on, they always seemed to be together. He viewed them as “messenger birds with tough characters.”
Mr. Seabrook’s love of lines and colour comes to life in his newest piece ‘Dream Weaver Dream Catching,’ which was completed only two days prior to the open house held Thursday, June 25.
4elements Living Arts Studio, located at 91 Main Street in Kagawong, is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm where Mr. Seabrook’s paintings will be on display throughout the summer.