This piece is titled "Circular thinking" and is based on the Anishinaabe Medicine Wheel teachings, the seven grandfather teachings and teachings of duality or polarity. It represents the cause and effect of circular thinking, and of finding harmony, balance and peace.
Quentin Commanda is a Nipissing First Nation-born artist. He started life learning cultural teachings, approaches and ceremonies through visual healing art forms. Painting, dancing, leatherwork and storytelling were taught to him through traditional Ojibway and Odawa ways. His mentors encouraged him to be creative and never let any of his art go to waste.
As a traditional Anishinaabe First Nations graffiti artist, Commanda’s work has matured from quick pieces into large street art projects and canvas work. Using learned, Indigenous teachings and different methods, he focuses on unique painting styles and techniques to create smooth transitions of colour, blending abstract form with realism and expressionism.
Commanda captures interactions in his daily life, the city he lives in and Anishinaabe culture. He uses it as a challenge to try out new styles and incorporate new subject matter. His love of nature and animals is prominent through his work, due to their deep meaning and connection to life. He strives for an artistic evolution that forms a distinct look and feeling to his work.
Commanda calls his style “making the woodlands dance.” For him, the following quote by Norval Morrisseau best describes his artistic approach to painting: “If you can, imagine an x-ray photo of spirit.” Commanda’s goal is to portray the teachings of his ancestors, sacred geometry and shapes in all of his art forms.
Commanda’s art has allowed him to work closely with art directors, city officials and corporate clients to make their visions come to life. He loves travelling and seeing art. Most of all, he loves to paint and have people enjoy his work.
He is inspired by new opportunities to share art and is grateful for the ability to transform neighbourhoods, buildings and interiors, and turn them into popular destinations for people to visit, admire and enjoy. Working on murals allows Commanda to engage with the community, bring people together and inspire others.
Over the years, he has worked with community-led designs, which allowed him to bring the community’s vision to life. Commanda works closely with his team members to ensure everyone has a clear understanding and vision of the design required to meet the project expectations. In the past, he has worked as a project lead and as a director, and has extensive experience coordinating artists of various skill sets and backgrounds.