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Breathing Stone: Contemporary Haida Argillite Carving


  • Medium: softcover
  • Size: 11.75 × 9 inches, 191 pages including index

$ 35.00 CAD
Sale: $ 24.50 CAD

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“When Carol Sheehan was in Haida Gwaii doing research on her new book Breathing Stone, several artists she visited pulled out copies of a book [Pipes That Won’t Smoke, Coal That Won’t Burn] — dog-earred and covered with argillite dust — that she had written nearly 30 years earlier.” — Nancy Tousley, Calgary Herald

Working with a soft, black stone known as argillite, Haida sculptors over a period of two centuries have created a stunning body of work that is exceptional in its craftsmanship and beauty.

Haida argillite sculpture constitutes one of the longest creative traditions in Canadian art. What is not always recognized is that this art form also serves as a rich portrayal of Haida history. Following the initial Euro-American contact, the Haida experienced devastating losses of population and the virtual disappearance of their culture. Argillite sculpture became almost the only means for the Haida to preserve their sense of who they were as a people. Their art became postcards to the universe explaining a heritage threatened with extinction.

Now, a renaissance of Northwest Coast art is taking place. New artists, combining outstanding skill with an awareness of artistic developments on a global scale, are creating work of impressive quality and sophistication. Through their art, stories and fundamentals of an ancient Haida culture gain meaning and vitality for a contemporary audience.

Other available books you might like in Recommended Books:

Carol Sheehan

Carol Sheehan, author of Pipes that Won’t Smoke; Coal that Won’t Burn, is a recognized authority on argillite sculpture. Breathing Stone is the culmination of careful research and extensive dialogues with 15 Haida sculptors about their work. This truly is represented in its most human, meaningful form.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

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one block West of the Granville Island gates
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