Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Protectors — Eagle and Manaia


  • Medium: glass (blown and sand-carved), pounamu (New Zealand jade), pāua (New Zealand abalone)
  • Size: 37 × 19 × 8 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: PL70906

This sculpture began as an organic shape based on gourd, tooth or claw forms — which were agreed as mutual shapes in our initial drawings and a good basis for the future designs. I saw it as a non-literal rattle form and I chose the killer whale and eagle designs connecting the worlds of the sky, land and sea and to counter the manaia (guardian being) as a spiritual guardian between these worlds.

Preston Singletary

This form has a manaia head which in Maori carving is the form which links the physical and spiritual world. The manaia is regarded as a spiritual kaitiaki (guardian) to protect man whilst he is in this world and on his voyage to the underworld.

Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Collaboration for the Fire & Water: Pacific Visions in Glass and Jade exhibition, 2007.

Collaborations between great artists are historically rare, despite frequent attempts and enthusiastic interest to bring technical skills and artistic chemistry together. In the end, it often seems that personal careers, distance, and other issues make these projects too difficult to realize. What makes this particular collaboration even more remarkable is that the two artists are geographically in different hemispheres — almost at polar opposites of the world.