Carl Ray was born on the Sandy Lake Reserve far to the north of Thunder Bay Ontario in 1943 and died from injuries received in an assault in Sioux Lookout in 1978. He and his mentor Norval Morrisseau painted the huge mural at the Native People of Canada Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, and his career as a First Nations painter was assured following this. Mr. Morrisseau also came from Sandy Lake and he and Mr. Ray collaborated for many years, bringing legends, stories and mystical experiences to a broader audience in the rest of Canada, and spearheading the push to have First Nations Art recognized and legitimized in the international art world.
The above URL is an extensive listing and description of art typical of the major Canadian tribal groups and provides a rich background against which to view Canadian First Nations Art.
Mr. Ray left several children, one of whom, Corinna Rae, carries forward his work and shows considerable promise as a First Nations artist. Corinna still lives in Sandy Lake. The isolation of her community, as a fly-in only settlement which is linked to the outside by road only for about 6 weeks in the winter, is probably both an advantage in sustaining and building First Nations culture and a disadvantage too as all the amenities of life we take for granted are so difficult to obtain. I am pleased to claim Corinna as a friend and want to promote her art to the rest of the world. These two sweet and gentle images are currently for sale on my website http://www.redkettle.com and either would make a lovely gift this holiday season.