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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Artist Inspirations, part 4


"Children of the Great Mystery"

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Gichi-manidoo Abinoojiinyag wedding rings by ZhaawanArt Trouwringen Design





















Boozhoo

Today's blog post touches the subject of the cross-disciplinary ways of thinking, acting, and being that sometimes exist between kindred artists. This story, in short, is about mutual inspiration and a life-long friendship.

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Zhaawano Giizhik digipainting





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FRIENDSHIP

A friend does not sit and wait
for you to see their smile
does not sit and not see you
whilst you wait for your turn
does not overlook the kindness
that lays inside your heart
does not hold anything back
not giving just little pieces.


A friend will take your hand
and kisses will make you see
that there is no turn
when it comes to you
embraces the kindness
that is in your heart like a gift
A friend gives wantonly
of the heart that beats inside them.


To know this friend is divine
inspiring and full of growth
like one entity breathing one breath
never having to be too close
This is friendship at its best
this is trust and caring and kind
This is my friend and my truth
Nothing else can be so open...


- Poem by Simone Mcleod, May 3, 2013

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About the symbolism of the rings


Wedding rings by Unieke Trouwringen design


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In designing these brand new wedding rings titled Gichi-manidoo Abinoojiinyag (Children of the Great Mystery), I was inspired by the above poem 'Friendship' written by my artist friend Simone Mcleod.

I crafted the5/16 inch wide (8 mm) rings by hand using the overlay-method, which means two plates of 14K red gold and palladium white gold were soldered on top of a another plate of yellow gold, then bent (hammered) into the shape of a ring. 

Traditionally, our ancestors who lived in gaa-zaaga'eganikag, the land of many lakes (the North American Great Lakes area), have always been aware of an existence in the cosmos that vibrates with a sacred, creative energy. 

The sum of this cosmological energy - or manidoo- is called GICHI-MANIDOO: literally ‘Great Mystery’. What we, as artists, have in common is that with each work of art we make, we try to capture this sacred existence - be it in a poem, a blog post, a painting, or a piece of jewelry.

The design of these rings for example, reflects the concept of aanji-nkweshkamong enweying shka-kimi-kweng: "Reconnecting our voice with Creation". The Anishinaabe ancestors believed in the importance of joining one's voice on a regular base with the voices of the spiritual world. 

The red gold part of the rings represents the bodies and spirits of two soul mates becoming one with each other and with Omizakamigokwe, the earthmother herself: "like one entity breathing one breath".


Stanley Panamick
Is it not from Omizakamigokwe's womb that we spring, and become nurtured and healed, and is it not to her bosom that we will return?

A fluent, graphic "earth line" of yellow gold runs across the surface of both rings, dividing the halves of red gold and white goldIf you look closely you will notice that it shows the characteristics of the earth surface as well as the anatomy of the human body (male and female). 

Both halves, the one of red gold and the white gold half inlaid with a rising sun and a crescent moon symbolizing the sky, reflect all aspects of GICHI-MANIDOO as they symbolically connect the individual to the whole of cosmos.

This is how far the story goes. The next blog story will be about the concept of the circle and the quadrinity of life. Miigwech for reading and listening and giga-waabamin: see you later.

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Trouwringen ontwerper en blog schrijver Zhaawano
Poem by Simone Mcleod, copyrighted by Simone Mcleod. Pencil drawings by Stanley Panamick and Zhaawano Giizhik, potography by Zhaawano Giizhik. Jewelry by ZhaawanArt Unieke Trouwringen.

About me and my sources of inspiration:
My name is Zhaawano Giizhik. I am an American currently living in the Netherlands. As an artist and jewelry designer I work in the tradition of the Native School of Woodland Art, which means I  draw on the oral and pictorial traditions of my Ojibwe Anishinaabe ancestors from the American Great Lakes area. For this I call on my manidoo-minjimandamowin, or 'Spirit Memory'; which means I try to remember the knowledge and the lessons of my ancestors. The MAZINAAJIM or ‘pictorial spirit writings’ - which are rich with symbolism and have been painted throughout history on rocks and etched on other sacred items such as copper and slate, birch bark and animal hide - were a form of spiritual as well as educational communication that gave structure and meaning to the cosmos. Many of these sacred pictographs or petroforms – some of which are many, many generations old - hide in sacred locations where the manidoog (spirits) reside, particularly in those mystic places near the coastline where the sky, the earth, the water, the underground and the underwater meet.

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