The Oyster Catcher rattle was a powerful shaman’s implement among the Tlingit. The Oyster Catcher formed the body of the rattle and its attributes included an understanding and ability to interact with the sky, land and sea. Maori also had the manaia (guardian being) with similar powers and spiritual attributes.
Maori design on this sculpture is of the manaia, a guardian of the spirit world. The bird-like form of the manaia is shown reaching up touching the beak of the oyster catcher signifying the passing or linking of one realm to the next and would mirror Preston’s oyster catcher design.
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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