Barry Wilson was born in 1952 in Kemano, British Columbia, Canada, located along the Central coast of the province and he is a member of the Haisla nation. Barry takes the Killerwhale, revered for its great strength and skill as a hunter, as his family crest symbol. Well versed in his cultural background, Barry enjoys depicting images significant to his heritage.
He began carving at the young age of five under the tutelage of his grandfather, Gordon Robertson, a Chief and master carver as well as Henry Robertson, his uncle. As an expert silver and goldsmith, he is best known for his shell and stone inlay work. Barry is Derek Wilson’s younger brother, also well known for his jewelry pieces. Barry is considered one of the most experienced jewelry carvers of today and continues to push the boundaries of the art form. He utilizes a wide variety of media, such as ivory, bone, mountain goat horn, gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stone. His carving, traditional in style, reflects depth and intricate detail in every piece he creates. Barry’s exquisite silver and gold jewelry pieces have garnered local and international attention. His pieces are very distinctive, therefore sought after by many collectors of Northwest Coast native jewelry.
In his spare time, Barry enjoys working on large-scale wood carving projects both locally and abroad which aim to preserve the Haisla culture for future generations. In 2001 he traveled with his uncle, Henry Robertson and brother, Derek Wilson to Sweden to assist in the completion and raising of a replica of the G’psgolox totem pole. This grand pole, made of cedar wood for a Haisla art installation, was part of a repatriation agreement between Sweden and Canada. This important mission aimed to increase awareness of Haisla culture to the Swedish population. Barry was also featured in the National Film Board’s documentary, ‘Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole’.