Whetung Ojibwa Centre
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Chippewyan Dene artist John Rombough was born in the remote community of Sioux Lookout in Northern Ontario, Canada. At the age of three, John was adopted by Carol and Lyall Rombough, a Prince Edward Island couple. He attributes his early interest in drawing and painting to being raised in their giving and artistic environment.
John is a self-taught contemporary woodland painter. He uses strong supporting black lines and vibrant colours. His main mentors are artists such as Ojibwe Norval Morrisseau, the grandfather of contemporary woodland style, and those from the ‘Native Group of Seven’.
As a young adult, John began the search for his birth parents. He discovered his biological father, Alfred Catholique, living in the tiny community of Lutselk’e on the shores of Great Slave Lake in Canada’s pristine Northwest Territories.
Warmly welcomed by all the Catholique family, John decided to move to the community in order to rediscover his cultural identity. John Rombough’s painting style has since changed to reflect the harmony of the Dene people with the natural world. His distinctive modern aboriginal designs encompass his own personal visions and strong connection with nature. John’s paintings communicate to all nations through visual interpretation and brilliantly mixed colours. His art sends the message of compassion and respect.
As John works toward creating original pieces, Ceremonial Drum Songs flow through his thoughts, songs that represent Dene teachings and spiritual way of life. Sacred teachings past down from ancestors through his visions inspire John to live a healthy, creative lifestyle, honoring ancestral teachings of ‘respect for self, respect for people and respect for the land’.
John Rombough is recognized as a role model throughout Northwest Territories and takes his role very seriously. His paintings are instrumental in conveying a message to the youth, a message of encouragement, leadership, strength, will power, and determination. New cultural discoveries continue to provide him with an inexhaustible reservoir of ideas to put to canvas.
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