Christian White was born on July 17, 1962 in Queen Charlotte, Haida Gwaii, B.C., and grew up in Masset. Christian’s predominant crests are Grizzly Bear, Dogfish, Raven Double-finned Killerwhale and Moon. Christian’s father, Morris White Chief Edenshaw was instrumental in teaching him the art of argillite carving at the age of fourteen. Christian belongs to a family of practicing artists and cultural preservers, his two brothers carve, his three sisters weaver cedar bark baskets and hats for cultural use, and his wife, Candice, is involved with elders and youths with regards to the preservation of language. In the past decade Morris and Christian White have been acknowledged as being large forces behind the revival of the art of canoe building and totem pole carving in Old Masset.
Carving since 1976, Christian’s mediums were wood, and whalebone, and has since successfully progressed to argillite. In more recent years argillite has become his primary medium, wood is a close second, often used specifically for cultural or ceremonial pieces. Christian had studied his cousins who had been carving in the late 60’s and who were, at that time, developing their own modern style. After researching the artwork of the 19th century Master’s along with the works of his cousin’s, Christian developed a personal style based on a narrative depiction of a specific moment within a myth or a story.
Christian hopes to influence the next generation of Haida artists, and has generally three apprentices on an ongoing basis. Several young people have come together in his community of Old Masset to form a traditional Haida song and dance group, “The Old Masset Dancers”. Christian believes performing the dances and singing the songs is a vital part of his culture and it makes him feel more complete as a person spiritually and physically.
2007 British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art
Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)
Argillite, Mother of Pearl, Abalone shell, Mastodon Ivory
The intelligent Eagle symbolizes status, power, peace and friendship. Eagle feathers are considered a sacred part of many ceremonies and rituals. The Eagle is known to mate with one partner for a lifetime.
In Haida legend, the Eagle and Raven are close companions and serve as alter egos.
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Price upon request
Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell
Argillite is grey colour and a relatively soft stone to carve which hardens over time as it begins to oxidize once removed from the mine. As it is relatively a limited resource, it is difficult to obtain large pieces from the quarry. Apart from small totem poles like this, the kinds of objects carved from Argillite include plates with carved and incised designs, pendants, pipes, small boxes, and sculptured figures.
Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Sterling silver
The Frog symbolizes luck, prosperity, stability and healing. As a communicator, Frogs connect with the world on land and under water. This figure is often carved into totem poles to prevent them from falling over.
The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.