Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Natsilne - Whale Rider

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Many cultures acknowledge the mana of the whale and the relationships between man, the whale, and the sea. The whale is a child of Tāne who was once a land mammal but found freedom in the ocean of Kiwa. The whale will return to land when it is ready to pass to the spirit world, leaving man to acknowledge the whakapapa (genealogy) of the whale with the resource (meat, bones, teeth) being utilised as new taonga (treasures) to be passed through the generations.
—Lewis Gardiner

Natsilne is a cultural hero who created the Killer Whale initially to take revenge on his brother-in-law who tossed him overboard in the middle of the ocean. They did this because they were jealous of his success and so they thought that they’d do away with him. He is rescued by a sea otter that takes him to an isolated island because the mainland is too far away. He creates this powerful monster Keet (Killer Whale) and instructed it to kill the brothers-in-law while there were out fishing. After the kill, Natsilne made it so that Keet would never harm humans again, metaphorically breaking the cycle of violence.
—Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Collaboration for the Fire & Water: Pacific Visions in Glass and Jade exhibition, 2007.

Collaborations between great artists are historically rare, despite frequent attempts and enthusiastic interest to bring technical skills and artistic chemistry together. In the end, it often seems that personal careers, distance, and other issues make these projects too difficult to realize. What makes this particular collaboration even more remarkable is that the two artists are geographically in different hemispheres — almost at polar opposites of the world.