Wegadesk Dana Gorup-Paule, from the Mi’kmaw Nation didn’t get into art until later in his life, when he was doing research on the Great Pyramids.
Born in Montreal, Gorup-Paule’s parents are from Nova Scotia. His father passed away just after he was born, so his mother and him headed west.
“I never associated my father dying as a bad thing ever,” said Gorup-Paule as he never actually knew him. “So I’ve always felt like I lost a physical father but I gained a spiritual father.”
Gorup-Paule lived on Gabriola Island when he was younger, commuting as just a Grade 1 student by ferry and bus to Nanaimo, where he went to school. He said doing this commute at such a young age, gave him a good sence of independence.
Although not getting into art fully from a young age, he said he remembers doing little tattoos on kids when in elementary school, the fake ones of course.
It was in 2011 when Gorup-Paule really got into art.
“I was doing a lot of research on the Great Pyramids and Machu Picchu and these big stone structures that we don’t know how they built them …” he told the PNR.
He discovered that all have a signature on it called sacred geometry, usually the flower of life design, which is the design of his painting displayed at the Mary Winspear Centre’s Invitational First Nations, Inuit and Metis Art Show.
“So I was like ‘well if this flower of life is at all these different places, it seems like the signature for the people who created it…’”
He then began studying it, and said, in order to study it, you needed to do it yourself.
“So I started drawing them and drawing more and more and more of them,”
“Sacred geometry is really an umbrella term for geometry that has special meanings with certain images.”
He said the flower of life is one circle positioned in a certain way, creating an orchestration of circles.
For years, Gorup-Paule said he wasn’t artistically gifted at all.
“So what allowed me to get some confidence with it was buying a geometry set, making these circles, and squares and triangles and then colouring them in, and I’d have something beautiful,” he said.
He said often times when people are trying to get into art, they are a little intimidated and don’t necessarily know where to start. For him, he said it was an easy way to colour in the lines he’d created, which in turn gave him some confidence with it.
“For maybe about a year I just did drawings and then I tried some acrylic paint and I was like ‘whoa, I can get texture out of this!’”
Putting the paint on thick in some areas on the lines, he said, gives more depth to them between the colours.
Many of his paintings that he does are very bright, which is something he said that he tries to do a lot.
“I’ve had to do a lot of good work with myself to be a kind of positive bright person so I’d like my art to reflect who I am in a sense. If you hang it in your house, I want it to brighten the room.”
In terms of bringing culture into his art, he said he finds it’s something people have trouble with as they want to put it into a box of their culture.
“For me what this is, is it’s human culture, it’s like earth culture … because I believe that the entire universe is inhabited with beings but it just depends on ‘do they have these kinds of eyes and these kinds of feelings?’ No they don’t, only humans have that …”
Gorup-Paule will be at the Mary Winspear’s Room 2 tomorrow (Aug. 20) between noon and 4 p.m.