Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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Joe David

Joe David

A Private Collection

November 14 - December 5, 2015


Joe David – featuring a private collection which has been built over 20 years, as a part of a larger collection of Northwest Coast and contemporary British Columbia Art. Given his long career as an artist - and his stature in the group that emerged as the major proponents of the modern generation of the art of the Northwest Coast - there are a number of collections internationally that include significant numbers of his work, due to their diverse range of imagery and powerful presence in the home.

Joe David was born in Opisaht village on the western shore of Vancouver Island in 1946. The isolation of the village encouraged the continuation of traditional ceremonies which Joe vividly recalls watching as a child. He became an early student of traditional Nuu-chah-nulth design and carving and later developed a mastery of the styles of all Northwest Coast nations. He became deeply interested in the shamanic practices of the Northwest Coast and other world cultures and this has been a constant influence on his work as an artist. His nomadic lifestyle has taken him around the world to see and experience other First-Nation cultures, including frequent stops in Arizona to participate in the annual Lakota Sun Dance, and New Zealand to visit and work with a number of prominent Maori artists. He is a devout environmentalist and has often produced pieces and supported causes related to environmental protection. In 1984 he produced HAA-HOO-ILTH-QUIN (Cedar man) carved during the protest to protect Meares Island from logging, which was erected in front of the Provincial Legislative Building in Victoria, and is now in the collection of the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology. Other significant public collections include the Vancouver International Airport, the Tin Wis Lodge in Tofino, and Teleglobe Canada. His pieces are included in most of the publications and exhibitions documenting the contemporary art form. He has also embraced changes in the art such as the introduction of bronze and glass. He received the first invitation to be the First Nation Artist in Residence in 2000 at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and has often collaborated with Preston Singletary on glass pieces. This collection includes many examples of his masks in his definitive Nuu-chah-nulth style - as well as pieces in bronze and glass and contemporary explorations, including several drawings and paintings. Currently Joe has semi-retired to Vancouver Island and makes a few select pieces each year.

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