Daphne Odjig Bad Medicine Woman Work


DaphneOdjig BadMedicine WomanWork

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DaphneOdjig BadMedicine WomanWork

TheArtist and Work Chosen

Theessay focuses on Daphne Odjig artistic works. Odjig (2010) affirmsthat the artist has done vast,stunning artworks each representing a particular theme of interest.The following piece of writingrelatesto her painting on women and the related message of the imagery. Theimage below is the work chosen among the artist paintings. The workgets referredas BadMedicine Woman.


DaphneOdjig Background

The artist was born in the reservearea of Wikwemikong,locatedon Ontario’s Manitoulin Islet. According to Odjig (2010), she wasborn in 1919. Her mother had English origin,and the fatherwas fromOdawa.Daphne Odjigartisttraining kicked off immediately she was out of school. The artistlife challenges begun at her teenage when health related issuesforced her to quit school. Her father and grandfather who was a stonecarver inspired and nurtured the capacity she had in drawing. Jonas,his grandfather,was instrumental in impacting in her their culture through stories heoften narrated while practicing Painting and sketching. However,racism hampered her efforts to learn from her heritage as she had tocut the link between her and thefamilyto exclude possibilities of discrimination onthe basis ofskin colour. Despite this challenge, her motivation and interest inartworks never ceased. Odjig (2010) notes that the art acted as acriticalline linking the all the stages in her life.

Despitethe teachings she received on relatedsocialissues through stories from her grandfather, the stone carver trainedher curvilinear drawing technique at the time she was going throughconvalescence. The tool learnt in addition to the stories influencedthe artist and metaphysical and aesthetic anxieties all through herlife. After thirty years of practice, she was finally affirmed as anartist after which she joined the British Columbia Federation ofArtists (Odjig, 2010). Her artist work,particularly on Theatre Queue,painted with oil attributed greatly to her admission into theartist’s federation. According to Odjig (2010), the worksrepresented expressionist city scenery which gave an insight intoDaphne cultural seclusion.

Latershe migrated to the northernside of Manitoba and started working as a development official in thecommunal setting of Easterville. In this area, she continued with herwork and made vast pen-and-ink drawings which were highly detailedportraying socialcommunityaspects. Her artistic works revolved around sketching objects such ascabins, dog teams, fishing yawls, locals especially Patsy Wood andVerna George. Odjig (2010) gives an instance of an interview whichthe artist was involved and notes that the she articulated concernparticularly over the exclusion of traditional ways of life in modernsociety. The portraits werenot products of imagination butwere figments regarding real personalities and areas. Odjig (2010)affirms that the artist intended to build a reputation amongindividual that would live endlessly in the art industry.

Hercontinued gain of experience forced her to change her art practices.She started portraying legends and allegories exemplifying anassortment of students termed as Nanabush Tales. According to (Odjig,2010), a magazine named Tawow got published in 1971 with contents ofher Thunderbird Woman acrylic painting. The works symbolized violenceand intensity relating to a legend who changes to a half-bird,half-woman, powerful being through a transformationwhich follows slain linked to an envious man.

Odjigused a range of techniques to create images that would communicatethe ideas and themes she had in mind. Her artworkrevolved around painting images that depictthemes such as shamanism, mythology, and connotation related tofamilies, role of women as life-givers, and sexuality inrelation togender critical contributions to the growthof the society. According to Odjig (2010), Odjig art is influentialin communicating ideas as it utilizes dreamlike imagery.

Theartist has succeededin the industry of acts. She has accomplished vast undertakings andworks. Odjig(2010) affirms that the artist has archived a huge number of workssuch as Stream Nudes,Grandpa Jonas, Trees,Tribute to the Great Chiefs of the Past, Rebirth relating toCulture, Roots, Harbour Boats, Bedtime Stories, Mirror of my Soul,Enfolding,Vision, MotherEarth and Thunderbird Man.Further, Odjig has received honorary Doctorates from varieduniversities.

RecentCritical Writings about Her Work

TwoLadies Quilting Works

Theworks depicttrue freedom of the artist as the painting depicts a change from hernormal norm of expressing the history of her people. Imagery portraysthe general feeling of the artist as a human being. She changesdrawing techniques and tools representing a transformation where avalid visual language finds applications. The artist uses metaphoricspace, with geometric figures spanning over the entire picture planeindicating individualstowing together dissimilar elements and generating a cohesiveproduct.

Theartists utilizea line as an element that finalizes her work bringing all the aspectstogether at the final phase of painting. Odjig (2010) ascertains thatthe line on its own tells tales but cannot beextractedindividually from the works to depict the meaning. However, if theline is excluded from the colour and interiors it encloses, themeaning and power of the line getlost. According to () the artist uses the line to give life herpaintings life. The line distinguishes her recent drawings from thoseshe had previously drawn. In addition to distinguishing her painting,the form line acts as balancing element linking the pieces of thepainting and those of life thus, accomplishing the intended goal ofthe painting.

Comparingand Contrasting DaphneOdjigand Other Artist`s Works

Incontrary to most artists whose portraits getsbasedon imagination, Daphne uses real personalities and actual areas incommunicating her messages. Further, her portraits are based on herpersonal life experiences contrary to the majorityof artists who picture’s out encounters of other individuals whoimpress them. Odjig (2010) affirms that her artwork differs fromother artists due to the power linked to her imagery. Her workresembles paintings by other artists in many ways. Firstly, herexceptional work in transforming the society especially ingender-relatedissues is similar to the contributionof most of the Canadian women in this field of arts. Odjig (2010)affirms that her works on the fieldsuch as activism, culture and women’s general life and achievementspictures out well in works presented by other women through painting.Further, her paintings on legends arecommon in most of the artistswho love to express hero and heroines in a given society or apolitical setting. Herpaintings on themes such as relationships, the importance of family,and human suffering get addressed by vast artists.Human associations and house related issues affect most individualsand thus interests artists who end up creating images to communicatethe ideas in their minds (Odjig, 2010).

BadMedicine Woman Works CriticalMessage

Thepaint work communicated specifically to unfaithful men and how womenhave the powerto deprive this kind of individuals their manhood power and inextreme cases their lives. Odjig intended to warn individuals of thedangers associated with cheating in marriage. The artist aims atenhancing family relationships through faithful deeds. Shamanism isdepicted thoroughly through the paintwork.Men are regarded to have powers over women.However,all illustrated trough the imagery used, females get depictedas strongelements in minimizing this powersin men.

StatementOf Cultural And Social Issues In The Work

Thework makes a clear account of social and culture. Odjig focuses onshamanism and mythology which holds astrongperspective in any culture setting. The artifacts givemore weight towomen and especially their strengths and roles in any social setting.Odjig emphases on the roleof women in the society and the role they play in procreation. Thestructure of the painting clearly indicates the culture setting ofthe artist. Odjig uses curved arch and circle as primary tools of herwork. The artwork shows a woman encircling her fingers. The symbol isused to denote achievement and flawlessness attributed to the Ojibwacommunity where the artist finds her roots. The circle used in thedesign of the work symbolizes individuals of the feminine gender inOjibwa culture. The symbol of enclosing figures composed of vivaciouscolour indicates characteristics of images which can be interpretedto mean varied women personalities in the culture setting.Additionally, use of undulating resilient rhythmic form linesencircling the image depicts common physiognomies which vary amongdifferent cultures.

StatementOf Gender In The Artistic Work

Thepainting clearly pictures out gender related issues. Odjig brings outperspective&nbspbased on men. The image presented attempts todefine preciselyand regulate male power aided by a strategy that focuses on thepenis. On the contrary, reproductive organs of the bad medicine womanarefitted with teeth on the lining greeting a potential of womengrudging men especially unfaithful one of their manhood power and forextremes cases taking their life away. The symbol gives an insightinto gender responsibilities and roles in the given society. Odjigfocuses on the roleof women in the society through the imagery. The feminine gender ismandated to ensure continuity of generation by supporting and givinglives. Rolesassigned to an individual in the society primarily depend on theculture setting of the community. The background of the work getsrepresentedby two&nbspdigits behind the woman. Odjig (2010) affirms that thisis a symbolic action depicting individual in the surroundingenvironment who continuously watch and evaluates whether culturallyset norms ofgender and sex observed. Further, they indicate suitable codes ofstandards and conducts in the setting of the community. According toOdjig (2010), individuals were shocked by the symbols used by theartist in expressing her ideas and communicating themes. However dueto advancements in technology and education on gender and related sexthe perception has extremely changed. Currently,children get raised up in a mannerthat includes sexualityand gendereducation in the curricular thus enabling easier acceptance ofsex-relatedissues in the community.


Odjig,D. (2010). BigOne and the Bad Medicine Woman (images with smoke).Retrieved From,http://www.artsask.ca/en/collections/themes/interiorplaces/daphne_odjig/big_one_and_the_bad_medicine_woman