We both saw this sculpture as an amulet form — wolf or whale teeth were both amulets and each carried the power, wisdom and mysterious traits of the animals with respect to their domains — the deep and spiritual realms of the forest and ocean. To me, the shape was a wolf tooth, so I used a wolf design whereas Lewis had a different interpretation and viewed it as whale tooth, but the implication is the same.
The ivory whale tooth is regarded to the Maori as taonga (treasure) and of great mana (prestige). In many circumstances, the whale tooth signifies the genealogical lineage ascending from Ariki (chieftainship).
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.
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