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 in wood.
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.