Joshua Dawson, born in 1981, currently resides in Ocean Grove, South Campbell River, British Columbia. Originally from Alert Bay and Kingcome Inlet, Joshua is also known by his Hamatsa name “Gwatala-galeese Taneese”. He is a member of the ‘Namgis band of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation and learnt to carve at the age of 17.
Introduced to carving by his cousin, Joshua developed his skills under the tutelage of master carvers; his uncle, Beau Dick, and his cousin, Wayne Alfred. Joshua attributes his other creative influences to Willie Seaweed and Tom Hunt.
Joshua Dawson is best known for his masks, ornately carved from red and yellow cedar wood and handsomely decorated with cedar bark, horsehair, and acrylic paint. He approaches subjects that express a deep connection with his Native heritage; for example he created a Hamatsa for his Grandfather, the late Chief Jimmy Dawson.
Joshua readily participates in potlatch ceremonies, as well as being fluent in the Kwak’wala language. He is an advocate for the survival of the traditional songs, stories, and beliefs of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples and hopes to pass his knowledge both in carving and tradition onto his son, James.