BOOKS IN PRINT

Pictographs by James Simon  

In Pictographs, Ojibway artist James Simon Mishibinijima brings to life the legends passed down to him by generations of Elders. In this collection, each image tells a story, silently communicating lessons of harmony, interconnectedness and peace.

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Transcending the familiar iconography of the Near North—the crows, the wolves, the loons and the ravens—the drawings of James Simon, known as Mishibinijima, propel readers into a fantastical spirit world, one that is as powerful and mysterious as it is beautiful.

In Mishibinijima’s Pictographs, smooth, quiet drawings serve as a reflection of place, not just of the wild geography of forest and rock of his native Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island but also of the ancestral wisdom of the Elders, whose telling images remain graven into stone on the north shore of Lake Superior and at the burial sites of LaCloche Island.

Mishibinijima’s world is quiet, devoid of language—a world in which the artist listens to the fauna, in which pictographs articulate the essential interconnectedness of nature and in which images themselves become texts of dimly-remembered lessons recited by Elders long passed.


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Credit: Jean Simon

James Simon Mishibinijima, one of Canada’s foremost Native artists, has created a unique body of work over the past four decades which has attracted a loyal following in North America and overseas. He was born in 1954 in Wikwemikong, Manitoulin Island, where he grew up immersed in the legends of the Ojibway people.

From the 1970s to the present, Mishibinijima has explored many of the sacred places around Manitoulin Island and originated the coveted Mishmountain series, among others. His uplifting philosophy has found resonance with those who seek solace in the midst of tragedy, and meaning in a world that is often confusing and frightening.

In his work he underscores the wisdom of the Elders’ teachings as a way to foster respect and peace. He also emphasizes the interconnectedness of all life and calls upon nations to preserve our natural surroundings for the benefit of our children.

The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.

ART / Native American

ART / Canadian

ISBN-13: 9780889844056

Publication Date: 2017-09-30

Dimensions: 8.75 in x 5.56 in

Pages: 208

Price: $24.95