Daphne Odjig is one of the most respected New Woodland Indigenous artists in Canada today. Born in 1919 on the Wikwemikong Reserve on Manitoulin Island, she was a member of the Ojibwa tribe.
Odjig has developed a distinct style based on the beautifully abstracted human form. The visual motif central to her work is the circle, which to the Ojibwa signifies completion and perfection and is symbolic to women. This motif is characterized by undulating, rhythmic lines, often heavily outlined, enclosing local colour in soft harmonious shades. Her subject matter deals with human relationships in the context of Indigenous culture, the importance of grandparents, the function of the family unit, and the universal theme of mother and child. Today the continuing tradition of the Woodlandists seems to be assured in contemporary Canadian art.
Since 1964, Daphne Odjig has exhibited her work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Her works have been collected by many public and private collectors including the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, Government of Israel, Government of Ontario, Kamloops Art Gallery, and McMichael Canadian Collection.
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