Inspired By The First Nations People
The Art & Culture
All Photography by Andrew Olly Oliver
I had the amazing opportunity in 2017 to visit Vancouver Island. It was such an incredible month travelling up Vancouver island stopping at key points to take in the art of the carved totem poles dotted up the island, masks and weavings displayed in galleries and museum. Once at the top, Port Hardy, we travelled across to Alert Bay Island (Cormorant Island) where we were very privileged to meet the beautiful people of the Namgis Tribe. Here we witnessed their dances in full regalia including carved masks and the drumming. It was sensational. K’odi, the chief’s son, is an engraver, engraving in the North West Coastal style onto silver and gold (pictured above) he very kindly showed us his workshop and how he engraved each piece. Having already been captivated by the culture having this experience and studying more on their teachings I came away refreshed, with exciting new designs and influences.
So, after my first amazing trip out to Vancouver Island I have been given the fantastic opportunity of a solo exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in September 2020. Part of the exhibition is to work with Master Craftspeople to learn some of their skills to both develop my own jewellery practice further and collaborate to create exciting new pieces together. I have chosen to go further north to the Island of Haida Gwaii. Here there are many artists of varying disciplines and a more remote surrounding.
Earlier this year I applied for Arts Council Funding, so fingers crossed this comes through! The funding however doesn’t cover everything I need to get me out there and to meet these lovely people. Having been in contact with - Georgia Bennett, Ravens Tail Weaver, Marlene Liddle - Cedar Weaver and John Brent Bennett - Cedar Carver, I would very much love to head out there to work with them.
On this note, I have set up a Go Fund Me page, if you have any spare change to help get me out there I would be so grateful. If you unable to donate, please can you share via social media mediums and word of mouth.
Thank you so much for reading and hope to bring you more news on this soon. You can sign up to my newsletter to be up to date with this project and in the know of offers, events and workshops.