Terry McCue is an Ojibway artist from the Curve Lake First Nation, in southeastern Ontario. Terry moved to Alberta in 1976 and continues to call it home. For nineteen years, Terry worked as a facilitator conducting workshops across Canada to train substance abuse workers in Indigenous communities. During that time he worked as a freelance illustrator, producing a variety of works including posters, book covers, and illustrations for addiction manuals. He used this work to continually develop his skills as an artist. Terry’s work can be found in private and corporate collections in Canada and the United States.
Terry McCue is a self-taught painter, who spent time in his youth watching his cousin Arthur Schilling and learning from him. Arthur Schilling still influences Terry’s paintings. Terry’s paintings reflect the four principles that sum up his philosophy.
Humanity is an integral part of creation. Humor is spiritual sustenance. Respect for the natural world, and our place in it, is the key to personal understanding. We are magical beings living in a magical world.
My paintings depict images from a particular perspective – my own. Personal experiences – cultural, spiritual, romantic, upbringing. These are the things that formed me. It is the culmination of all this that is on the canvas.
Take the animal portraits, for example. I was taught that the animals are our relatives. They don't exist only in their relation to us. They have an integrity of life separate from us and it is our responsibility to guard their cultures. We have life because they have life.
Ojibways, before contact, believed that we must discipline our thinking and our behaviour. They knew that humans had developed a different way of thinking from the animal world. The animals think, just differently. The human way of thinking can pose a danger to the natural world, because we can devise schemes that can lead to the demise of everything not like us. Animals don't do that. We see every day the disappearance of a different species from the earth. The Ojibways would have said that another group of our family has just disappeared. Perhaps our ignorance can lead to our demise as well. So – if we have not considered the consequences of our behaviour on the other species, that does not mean that this Ojibway stops trying. My paintings are me, trying.
Consequently, my moose are rainbows and my bears travel with spirit guardians. It is my attempt to show the astounding beauty and the mystery of the world not wrapped in our skin. To ask the viewer to embrace new perceptions for an imaginative leap into the world of the indigenous. You do not have to believe to understand or respect another's vision.
The teepee paintings speak to the universal human concept of home and of our desire to abide in capsules of beauty.
Born on February 18 in Curve Lake Reserve, ON. Nationality is Ojibway