PIKE-Net Logo Created by Clark Morrissett
My name is Clark Morrissett, and I am a proud Cree-Métis man. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba by my beloved parents Lorraine and Clark. I have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Manitoba, which is where I discovered and took great interest in becoming a lifelong student of various mediums including oil paints, conte and charcoal.
I draw inspiration from both classical and contemporary artists throughout the world. In particular, trailblazing Indigenous artists such as Norval Morrisseau and Alex Janvier, both of them with their individual styles and techniques to express the spiritual life-force of their cultures, and Jackson Pollock who radically introduced abstract expressionism.
For me, the conversation which exists from brush to canvass begins with the strokes of fast and loose markings – as do conversations flow – so too does the paint. Although at times I nurture traditional techniques, I constantly question and experiment with new ways to express myself, to create my own mark through various forms and styles within contemporary Indigenous art.
I do not believe that an end-goal exists for my art; rather, it continuously evolves as does my understanding of who I am is un-layered. I continue to produce artistic work for organizations who value contemporary Indigenous art.
Symbol: The cyclic form of the symbol plays on the cycle of life and is representative of Indigenous views.
Pike: Pike fish are known for their aggressive behaviour however, for this symbol, it was important to capture specific features of the fish without focusing on its aggressive characteristics such as its teeth. In this way, the pike fish is represented for its beauty. Moreover, the pike fish was specifically selected to represent this project for two reasons: firstly, because the letters that make up the word pike presents a fitting acronym for the project. Secondly, pike fish are Indigenous to Manitoba.
Jack pine tree & northern star: The jack-pine tree and star are representative of Northern communities, who in collaboration with CAHR, have partnered together on the PIKE-Net project. I have drawn branches on only one side of the tree because in winter, the tree naturally bends from the northern winds.
River: The river represents the importance of water systems, which is a perfect example of how people travelled and connected throughout the prairies.
Horizon: The straight line of the horizon represents the prairies – flat.
Colours: The three colours utilized represent the three biospheres of the planet. Light green represents earth, light blue represents the sky, and dark blue represents water. These three biospheres are in constant connection and exchange in order to sustain life on earth.
Repetition of three: The representational lines of three found in the fins, gills, teeth, river and tree are symbolic of the three Indigenous nations in Canada: First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
Organic style: It is important that the lines within the symbol remain organic, which is to say, uneven. The unevenness of the lines is purposefully drawn in order to avoid a mechanical or inorganic structure. But perhaps more importantly, realistically the work of Creator as seen in the make-up of the earth are not composed of straight lines rather a compilation of fluid lines which is why the belly and spine are unsymmetrical.
Monochrome colour: The monochrome colour allows for the symbol to transition between black and white or any other preferred colour.