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.