Douglas David – Curator’s Choice Spring 2021

Doug David’s love for creating art has been primarily inspired by his ancestral spirits and, from the beginning, this has consumed his life.

Since Doug is a descendant of Nuu-Chah-Nulth, Dakota and Sioux nations, he has a myriad of styles and colours to access in making his masks, panels, paddles, boxes, rattles and bowls. This unusual combination of cultural influences has given his work a very distinctive flavour and appearance. Whenever one sees a Doug David work, it is easily recognizable.

His internationally-acclaimed father Joe David, in particular, has been an important aspect of artistic life as teacher and mentor which has provided Doug with a solid foundation of his Nuu-Chah-Nulth heritage. However, it was predominately his mother Sandra Tuifua Bluehorse and her traditional Plains ways of creating 2-D painting and construction art; such as dreamcatchers, rawhide parfleches, painted shields as well as leather and beadwork, that stirred his imagination.

The summers he spent with his father Joe David in Tofino on an isolated island belonging to his family’s people began filling his mind and soul with the ancient stories that he was taught. As a part of Joe’s legacy growing up, it was his parents who consciously supported his own creative journey. As such, Joe made sure that his son Doug was properly instructed in the use and care of carving tools, which included knives, chisels, mauls and D’adzes.

Doug expresses how he felt about these summers: “My father was a determined worker and I had the opportunity to see many incredible images emerge from rough blocks of ancient cedar; moments that I flash back to from time to time.”

Now, as a single parent of 7 children, he has passes on his own experiences and knowledge to them to ensure the continuation of this artform from one generation to the next so it will thrive and survive.

Over the years, Doug’s work has been featured in public exhibitions; such as: ‘In the Spirit of the Ancestors‘ at Seattle’s Burke Museum in 2007 as well as several shows at Coastal Peoples Gallery in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I have been an artist my whole life but it is only a part of me. I have lived and traveled from Alaska to Hawaii and from California to the Dakotas, along the way learning the local forms of express. I have most enjoyed, aside from carving cedar, making Pahu drums from coconut trees to sell to the art market as well as hula halu’s – Native dance schools of Hawaii, Maui and Oahu.”

As an exceptional master carver, Doug will continue to be considered one of the most watched artists of his generation.

To view Doug David’s entire collection in our Gallery and for more details, please click here.