The Govenor General of Canada has chosen to display a painting by Norval Morrisseau in Rideau Hall, Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean’s official residence in Ottawa.
In Androgyny, Morrisseau represents the Ojibway shaman’s world view, showing a thriving and bountiful world in which all the diverse elements are in perfect balance. With its impressive height of 3.66 metres and width of 6.1 metres, its brilliant colours, and the artist’s knowledge and understanding of the Ojibway cosmology, this artwork is a true masterpiece. Morrisseau donated this painting to the Canadian people on April 15, 1983. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1979. The loan of Androgyny to Rideau Hall is made possible thanks to a partnership with the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and the Indian and Inuit Art Centre. The piece is on display until 2011 and will be seen by everyone visiting Rideau Hall.
It is now Androgyny’s turn to become one of the most visible paintings in the country. It will speak eloquently of our strong ties with the First Nations, those who have our deepest roots in Canada.
Our decision to exhibit this painting takes into account a recommendation made by a participant at the national Art Matters forum held in Banff last April, that is, that we support the capacity of First Nations artists and communities to create, produce, distribute and participate fully and fairly in the arts community. The installation at Rideau Hall of an imposing piece bequeathed to us by one of Canada’s greatest artists speaks loudly of the presence of Aboriginal peoples, of their priceless contribution to our culture, and of the meeting of civilizations so prevalent in our history.
The Governor General’s website describes the giant 20 foot mural as follows: “In the Okanagan, as in many Native tribes, the order of life learning is that you are born without sex and as a child, through learning, you move toward full capacity as either male or female. Only when appropriately prepared for the role do you become a man or woman. The natural progression into parenthood provides immense learning from each other, the love, compassion and cooperation necessary to maintain family and community. Finally as an elder you emerge as both male and female, a complete human, with all skills and capacities complete.” Does the Governor General actually believe that in order to be a complete human you must be both male and female?
Riiiight. And out of this comes the conclusion that our GG has some ulterior motive to make Canada a homosexual nation. I think the author needs a little less encouragement here and a little more reality. Man, that whole site looks like quality blog fodder. I’m always looking for more blog fodder…