The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is very pleased to bring this remarkable fusion
exhibition of small masterworks by three cultures that we proudly represent:
Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand), First Nations of the Northwest Coast
and Inuit of northern Canada. The conversation between these works from
three corners of the world will tell stories that offer both comparison and
contrast making the gallery a truly unique place to visit.
Over the last few years, we have mounted a number of monumental
exhibitions of large-scale works of art—this time we wanted to present an
exhibition on a smaller scale that would surprise and delight our audience.
Greatness can be small in appearance, yet still be large in presence and
power. The criterion for this exhibition was to select unique works that
expressed the artists’ attention to detail. The challenges were to find the
curious—and to have fun!
The Maori artists have excelled, producing an extraordinary selection of
innovative works in a great variety of media, including ceramics, harakeke
flax and pounamu jade. For many artists who are much in demand now
for their larger works, it was a rare opportunity for them to produce art
on a smaller scale.
From the artists of the Northwest Coast came wonderful, intricate utilitarian
and regalia pieces in varied native woods from the Pacific coastline. Amongst
the many inspired works featured here are exquisitely inlaid argillites, detailed
narrative designs in silver, and delicately chiseled and painted carvings
The Inuit were a nomadic culture that had to be self-sufficient, producing
all the implements and tools necessary to their survival. They also carved
small protector amulet forms—as well as small carvings that reflected their
sense of the world around them. The tradition continues here in a more
contemporary flavour with smaller, often candid and humorous works in
indigenous materials from the Arctic.
This collection was a pleasure to plan and to curate—and as the works
began to arrive, it was so exciting to open those small boxes to reveal
the treasures inside! We invite you to join us here at the gallery to view
the exhibition—a wonderful blend of creations to be appreciated in the
hand, to crack a smile, or to simply amaze.