Greg White Lightbown
Greg White Lightbown was born in 1953 in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, also known as Haida Gwaii. It is one of the northern most nations and is considered to be one of the primary inhabitants of Canada’s western coastline.
His great grandfather is Charles Edenshaw (1839-1920), a chief of thee StA’stas Eagle clan and who was considered the most influential Haida artist of his time. One of Charles’ granddaughters Lavine White, the daughter of Emily Edenshaw and Henry White, is mother to Greg.
Greg became involved in carving argillite in the late 1960s at a time when it was readily available and was highly collected and traded. He focused on this medium, in keeping with the traditional Haida form, in order to preserve the skilled craft. Greg is known for his unique depictions reflecting a slice of Haida culture. His attention to detail and fluid form lines are prevalent in each argillite sculpture he creates.
Greg has lived in Masset all of his life and currently resides there with his family. His inspiration and creativity is active while being surrounded by his ancestry. He is one of the many artists of the 20th century who are concentrating on preserving their heritage and artistry for future generations.
Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)
According to the oral traditions of the Northwest Coast, there was once a man named Gunarh whose beautiful wife was kidnapped by a Killerwhale. He took her to the underwater village of the powerful Killerwhale People, and planned to wed her as soon as he could create a dorsal fin and attach it to her back. However, Gunarh was determined to rescue his beloved. He undertook a series of perilous tasks, going so far as to ride on the back of a mighty Killerwhale to reach the village in the depths of the sea. There, Gunarh successfully extracted his wife from the Chief Killerwhale’s longhouse, rescuing his love and returning with her to their own earthly village.
This is a common myth amongst the Haida people but there are many versions of this legend base on the Nation which is telling the story. In some versions, Gunarh is instead called Nanasimget.
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.