The Spirit Wrestler Gallery is delighted to present our third
installment 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.
The enormous popularity and response to our Mini-Masterwork
exhibitions over the years has encouraged us to present a third
collection. We are excited that this fusion format seems to both
inspire the artists and appeal to our audience.
This year celebrates our tenth anniversary of representing Maori art
and what a memorable decade it has been. We have had the pleasure
to introduce an extraordinary culture and the opportunity to work
with so many great Maori artists. This exhibition is an appropriate
celebration of this anniversary as we continue to build and strengthen
this vital cross-cultural link across the Pacific.
Our Maori representation continues to evolve and sparkle with the
depth of their artistic talent. We are continually encouraged by having
the ongoing support from so many of their master artists working in
the varied mediums of pounamu (jade), wood, ceramics, painting and
weaving. This new collection introduces glass by Te Rongo Kirkwood
and woven silver by Matthew McIntyre-Wilson.
It is especially an honour to have the inclusion of tohunga whakairo
(master carver), Clive Fugill. Clive has been teaching at Te Puia (Maori
Carving Institute) in Rotorua for the last forty years and has seen many
of the most renowned carvers of today pass through his classes.
Northwest Coast art continues to prosper, with artists approaching
the gallery with unique new works that both surprise and amaze.
This selection is a variety of smaller inspired, wearable artworks;
including intricately carved pendants, rattles, frontlets and jewellery.
The collection continues to highlight three notable younger artists,
Shawn Hunt, William Kuhnley and Jay Simeon, who have garnered much
attention for their innovation and strength of design.
Inuit art excels in the miniature scale. It is a natural transition from
the traditional amulets of the past to contemporary miniatures of
today. It seems that small, powerful carvings in stone, ivory and antler,
magically appear in our hands from all over the Canadian and Alaskan
Arctic. Art by Billy Gauthier, Michael Massie, Silas Kayakjuak and
Mattiusi Iyaituk reflect the contemporary direction of our gallery, but
this selection is enriched by the inclusion of a number of works by
artists now considered legendary to the art. One can delight in seeing
small masterpieces by Luke Anowtalik, Judas Ullulaq, Abraham Etungat,
Osuitok Ipeelee, to name a few.
The challenge is always in finding the inspired piece. We have had fun
assembling this wonderful collection of small treasures for you to enjoy.
We hope that you agree and can join us in sharing this celebration.