Artwork Featured at the Shaw Centre
The Shaw Centre is an iconic building located in the heart of the city. Within its doors a number of artists have pieces featured.......
My name is Celine aka Cece Debassige (she/her) and I am a 23-year-old Queer Indigenous – Ojibwe and Dene Woman residing on Unceded and Unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. My passion and “radicalism” for social change started in my early years of high school at Immaculata HS and continued in my post-secondary studies, helping organize several protests and marches to bring awareness and light to social justice issues at all intersections.
My most recent projects include my mayoral candidacy for Ottawa’s 2022 elections, writing a coming-of-age memoir of my experiences of survival and the cliches of an Urban Indigenous woman and being a helper at A7G.
I made this piece as a Ribbon Skirt wrapped in barbed wire, to showcase that our ceremonies were once illegal to take pride in and it is something we as a society still need to unravel and heal from.
In tarot The Star represents hope and renewal. In my picture I have painted out a self portrait of one of my “thirst traps” with added butterflies and witchy elements to showcase the growth I have had with my own body and spirituality as a Queer Indigenous Femme.
Gizaagi’in “I love you” xoxo
This is a painting that is just meant to be a cute tribute to my community. I made the hearts out of gathered game my community has provided for me over time.
I made this piece trying to capture the feelings I have as I try to navigate a minority on my own land. The top left corner is to represent the home I crave to have under seven stars representing the Seven Generations that led me to where I am on my path. The top Right is the vast land that covers Turtle Island with medicines as the sky showcasing the comfort I feel knowing that I am protected by Creator and my Ancestors.
Pine & Prompts.
In the centre of a golden backdrop is a pine tree. Simply painted like I did in my youth with the pine trees back home on Manitoulin Island. This painted was created when writing a journal prompt about a core memory during my childhood. My first thought went to hearing about the creation story during a camping trip with my mom and community, and the following poem about the story from Sky Woman’s perspective:
Using trash bags to make a coffin, representing the landfills where victims of the MMIWG2S crisis are left to lay. This piece was created to showcase the unfortunate reality of the discardment of Indigenous women/girls/two-spirit peoples within Canada; leaving the families and communities of the victims forced to mourn using their imagination for burials.
In the forefront of the painting is a tipi and in the background is a cityscape. This tipi is to represent the ways of living before colonialism, as well as the current high numbers of Indigenous people forced to live on the streets due to gentrification.
Hide & Pride.
In the centre is a stretched piece of leather showing one step in hide tanning; a process that I learned with A7G. Between each sinew is an image of teachings/cause/memories that I carry within my heart very closely.
Maurice Séguin is a self-taught artist of mixed French and Anishinaabeg descent, (Mattawa-North Bay). He has been painting since childhood, where he created works using discarded wooden boards and hand-me-down or home-made paints. His love for painting has guided him throughout his life. Now retired, he continues to put brush to canvas – creating work that calls attention to the importance of the Land. He resides on the unceded traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg, referred to as ‘Ottawa’.
To purchase prints visit: https://emily-marie-seguin.myshopify.com/collections/artwork-by-maurice-seguin
This piece depicts a Voyageur (a Birchbark Canoe) who has made their way through a water corridor, to be nestled beneath a Cedar tree canopy.
“Without Her [Water], visiting this remote land would not be an option. Waterways are crucial to travel, to move goods around, and to connect people. We must make it a priority to ensure Her health. ” – Maurice Séguin
Rolling Fog, Lake of Two Rivers
Along every highway running through this Anishinaabeg territory, the beauty of Mother Earth is in full display. Velvety hills, tall pines and gentle waterways are covered in a soft, rolling fog that entices all passers-by.
Birch provides generously for the Anishinaabeg, from canoes to baskets, to art and ceremonial pieces. In this piece, Wiigwaas (Birch) gracefully stands over a fresh, glittering snowfall, forever reminding our nations of her abundance.
From delicate flowers, to small berries, to creatures on the land and in the water – AkiKwe is generous in her offerings. ‘Miigiwewin Kwe’ (Gifts from her) displays Mother Earth’s Gifts in a cosmic, colourful piece that honours all livings things.
Thunderbird and Seven Guiding Spirits
This piece is about Animikii (ThunderBird) who is a being that causes lightning as depicted in this painting. Prayers with Tobacco are offered to the Great Bird asking it to go easy on the Anishinaabe when the storm comes to cleanse the earth. This work also features Seven Guiding Spirits. The number Seven is very important in my teachings. Finally, the lightning strike reflection connects the sky and the water in this work. The Guiding Spirits also are connected to the lighting. Everything is connected. We are all connected.
Cabane à Sucre
I remember the smoke from the boiler billowing in the air on that cool spring day. As I approached the sugar shack, one could smell the sweet sap in the air, and the burning of the wet earthy wood. I was thrilled, and I ran home to paint the scene. I distinctly recall all those great smells coming back to life all around me as I worked the paint into the canvas.
I was taught that the Maple Tree is the leader of the trees – it’s always the first tree to wake up in the spring, offering early gifts of food and nourishment.
In the spring and fall, these beautiful birds migrate across Turtle Island. I am so sad when they leave, but so happy to await their return. Their formation takes advantage of wind resistance, and they exchange positions seamlessly to balance out the workload. When geese become mates, it’s for life. They protect each other and the greater family – the flock. I painted this piece for my spouse Dawn because she loves these birds so very much – and I love her.
Ottawa Tourism approached me and proposed an idea to paint a canoe to promote Ottawa at one of their tradeshows. Taking inspiration from Janice Joplin’s famous painted 1964 Porsche, I made a list of specific “Ottawa” ingredients that could be the subject matter for the imagery on the canoe, which included the Rideau Canal, the Ottawa River, the creatures within, both the native indigenous history and the later exploration by the French.
I outlined all the elements on the canoe’s blank canvas and prepared a color-coded paint system similar to a “paint-by-number” technique that would allow visitors to grab a brush and help with the painting.
The finished result is a colourful mosaic of images that reflect the timeless history and scenery of the Ottawa area that both tourists and residents continue to enjoy.
Princess Tulip Sculpture
Ottawa was the temporary wartime home for members of the Dutch Royal family, and it was here that Princess Margriet was born—the only royal personage ever born in North America. The Princess Tulip Sculpture is a symbolic commemoration of the Tulip Legacy Story and the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation. The sculpture depicts Dutch Princess Margriet as an infant with her mother Princess Juliana in a Tulip setting.
JueYuan Chang and Yi Chang
The Colour of Unity
Size: 312" by 90"
The art piece is a painting entitled: “The Colour of Unity,” and is the result of the cooperation with JueYuan Chang and Yi Chang. The painting was commissioned by Heritage Canada and was officially donated to the Shaw Centre during the ceremony. The theme of the painting is Canadian multiculturalism, hope, love and unity.