Robert Moses White is a painter and sculptor in the traditional Northwest Coast style of the Tsimshian nation. His medium of choice is acrylic paintings on paper and canvas but he also carves in alder, red cedar and yellow cedar. Moses’ career as an artist has spanned three decades and will continue far into the future with the expert training that he is presently receiving at the prestigious Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art in Terrace, B.C. Moses attributes his natural talent to his lineage—he follows in the foot steps of many great artists that have called Lax Kw’alaams their nation of origin.
Moses’ paintings reflect his memories of traditional activities like food gathering and harvesting of natural materials such as cedar bark, seaweed, salmon, halibut and many other resources in his traditional territories. Much of his inspiration comes from knowing that his people have been the stewards of their land for millennia. When he looks out over the land, he sees exactly what his ancestors saw; the sea, the sky and the animals, together with the spiritual side of life on the lands. It is at this moment, he feels that everything becomes one and that his very DNA holds memories of the past. This is how he describes his work as an artist: “It is part of who I am and my work expresses these moments in time.”
“My reasons for taking this course is to be able to take all of my knowledge and experience and pass it on too my children and grandchildren, in a way that they understand the importance of our history and how this is portrayed in the artwork. This is how we will be remembered when we are no longer here to tell the stories and it will be our children who will be there to carry on telling our history to the next generations. If I can do this, then I will feel that I have succeeded with my goal. I feel that I have much to share and much to learn as I stand at the crossroads.”
Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art