The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is excited to present our second fusion exhibition of small masterworks by artists from the three cultures that we represent: Maori of Aotearoa (New Zealand), First Nations of the Northwest Coast and Inuit of Alaska and Northern Canada.
We sincerely believe in the cross-cultural connection between aboriginal artists and over the last eight years have built our reputation on this philosophy. The world is becoming increasingly smaller as artists fly in to attend overseas conferences, cultural gatherings, and artist workshops. Many of these artists are participating in art collaborations or securing international commissions. Artists communicate through their art — bridging frontiers, languages and cultural boundaries. These lines are now becoming blurred as cultures also often share similar techniques, subject matter and designs.
The positive response, from both the participating artists and our viewing clientele, expressed how much they enjoyed the first Mini-Masterworks exhibition, inspired us to curate this collection. The original theme of securing memorable small gems remains the same, but with the idea of changing the mix by introducing different artists, exploring new directions, and providing a few surprises.
The Maori continue to reveal their versatility with artists creating exciting contemporary artworks in traditional materials of pounamu (jade), wood and harakeke flax, as well as in ceramics, metals and paintings on canvas.
The depth of artistic talent is also very evident in the Northwest Coast collection, with both the master and the younger artists producing extraordinary smaller works from frontlets, rattles and model totem poles, to intricate silver, gold and multi-inlaid argillite jewellery.
The Inuit, traditionally a nomadic culture who excelled in small amulets, continue to demonstrate their natural inclination towards miniatures. This wonderful selection of traditional and contemporary carvings has been made in a variety of materials by artists living across the Arctic, from Alaska in the west to Labrador in the east.
We are also very excited to have the support of Denise Wallace, a renowned master Aleut jeweler from Alaska, whom we have admired and respected for many years. She is a natural fit, with her close personal connection with many of the Maori and Northwest Coast artists exhibiting in this collection.
It is truly a pleasure building this cross-cultural exhibition as we continue to discover new artists and unique artworks. We hope that you will be amazed with this collection as much as we are.