A man of Haida descent, Robin Rorick is a carver and painter. He was raised on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and Hornby Island. His Haida name is Sk’uyuu and he also holds the Nuu Chah Nulth name of Moonaquin, which was given to him through his wife’s family.
Robin’s mother is renowned master spruce root weaver, Isabel Rorick. As a child, he was given the time to explore, imagine and be creative; he was raised to be an artist. His maternal great great grandparents were Charles and Isabelle Edenshaw, his great grandparents Robert and Florence Davidson, and his grandparents Victor and Primrose Adams. His paternal great grandmother was Selina Peratrovich. Robin Rorick is descended from the Yahgulaanas — Raven Clan of the Haida Nation. He is a left-handed artist.
After working under his guidance for some time, Robin apprenticed under Ben Davidson for the carving of a 30-foot totem pole. He now incorporates that which he continues to learn from Ben’s influence into his work.
Over the past few years, Robin attended the series of design workshops hosted by Robert Davidson on Haida Gwaii. These workshops have given him much inspiration and desire to live and breathe the gift that is the Haida art form. In 2008, he co-hosted a series of drum making and design workshops for ten youth in Skidegate. He guided them through the assemblage, design and painting of their drums. He recently delivered the same drum course for Hesquiaht people.
In 2009, Robin created a large scale canvas ceremonial dance curtain for potlatch use. Afterwards, he collaborated with an elder to guide young students to design and build another large scale cedar plank screen with crest designs. Canvas ceremonial dance curtain usage on the northwest coast was pre-dated by the use of large cedar plank screens to display family history, clan rights and title to land and crests.
At the end of 2009 Robin went to Guatemala as part of a Haida contingency to share in an arts and culture exchange with the Mayan people at Lake Atitlan. The theme of this gathering was “Strengthening the Ancient Spiritual Trade Routes.” While in attendance, Robin shared his Haida art and performed Haida songs and dances in exchange with the Mayans.
While continuing his art career, he was involved with Hesquiaht Language Immersion Programming in 2010/2011, learning aboriginal language in immersion for a few hours a day with a local elder.
Robin is dedicated to exploring a variety of methods, tools and techniques for creating and broadening his understanding of the Haida art form and its interconnectedness with the natural and the supernatural. His work has become increasingly grounded in spiritual connection and respect for the earth.
Artist Statement, 2012. Photo courtesy Layla Rorick
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