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.
March 14 - April 4, 2015
'Keewatin Women in Stone' celebrates the lives of two very different Nunavut artists from the Keewatin region north-west of the Hudsons Bay. Camille Iquilq (1963-2005) and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok (1934-2012) are representative of two generations and very different upbringings. Lucy was born on the land and experienced the nomadic and traditional way of life before settling in Arviat, whereas Camille was born and raised within the relative comfort of the community of Baker Lake. The collection is a selection of at least 30 stone sculptures from each artist, with pieces ranging from the early 1990s forward. The exhibition contrasts their individual styles yet highlights the same shared values with relationships and the strong bonds within the family.
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
47 Water Street
Canada V6B 1A1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.
Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
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