Bignell’s technique involved sponge painting acrylic paints onto paper or canvas. He was largely self-taught, except for a few art classes.Born in 1958, he was raised within the Opaskwayak (Cree) Nation on the Pas Reserve about 400 miles north of Winnipeg, and subsequentlymoved to Winnipeg, then Minneapolis and later to Vancouver BC.
He died at the age of 37, following a head injury in 1995; at the peak of his powers as an artist. He had mentored and worked closely with Russel Noganosh as his apprentice in 1979; and has influenced many other First Nations artists. To quote his own words gives the best reflection of what he perceived as important to himself as a person and an artist:
“My art is strongly influenced by the traditional ways of my people. I was brought up to live off the land from an early age. Hunting and trapping, living in harmony with the earth has taught me to respect the animals and the spirit and power of nature. I hoop dance and sing at Pow Wows to maintain my cultural heritage. Through art and dancing I attempt to influence native people to continue their cultural ways; the gift that was given to us by the Great Spirit.”
Please contact me – mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for further information on this piece. It would make a bold statement in your home or office setting.
Until nest week! Mich