1958 – 1995
Isaac Bignell was a Cree painter from the Pas Reservation, which is located four hundred miles North of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. After leaving the reservation, Isaac lived in Winnipeg, for a period of time, before moving to Minneapolis. At various times he lived in Vancouver and developed many contacts with galleries to represent his work. Isaac was primarily a self-taught painter who used acrylics to create his powerful, yet subdued images. Isaac worked through various approaches to his artwork, which developed into a distinct style that reveals fluidity and spirituality.
“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 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.”
Unfortunately, Isaac passed away in 1995 at the young age of 37, but his artwork still lives on in many private collections worldwide. His spirit will always be remembered by his close friends and fellow artists. He was devoted to Native traditional ways which included his Native art, singing, dancing, and drumming. He was able to teach others in these ways with his outgoing and friendly personality which everyone respected and he always had a smile for everyone.