Lyle Wilson

Born in 1955, Lyle Wilson is a Haisla artist from Kitamaat Village, which is near the town site of Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada. The Haisla Nation is often referred to as Northern Kwakwaka’wakw; however, their historic artistic style has influences from various sources – notably Kwakwaka’wakw and Tsimshian, as well as developing distinctive qualities of their own. The name Kitamaat means, “People of the Snow” and refers to the large amount of snow received by this region. Tsimshian people visiting the Haisla people in mid-winter arrived to see people emerging from big houses completely buried by the snow so the name Kitamaat seemed an appropriate description.

The Haisla Clan system is matrilineal and although he was born into the Beaver Clan, Lyle was formally adopted into his father’s Eagle Clan. Due to the high death rates at this time, his Eagle grandmother formally adopted both Lyle and his sister to help ensure the continuation of the Eagle Clan. This was a small but important event, which helped shape Lyle’s view of Haisla culture.

Lyle was always conscious and appreciative of Haisla art, which was present in his formative years. In this regard, his first artistic influence was his uncle, Sam Robinson, who is a full-time carver. Fascinated, Lyle watched him and occasionally whittled to the best of this abilities. He did not pursue art as a possible profession until he attended the University of British Columbia. At this time, he committed to a career in art education, but found time spent in the studio more compelling – eventually leaving to pursue his own artistic interests at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design. He graduated with a diploma in printmaking and began to develop his individual style. This artistic style has its roots in graphics, but also envelopes his three-dimensional works in wood and jewelry.

Today, a renowned artist, Lyle works closely with University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology where he has further pursued his interest in replicating historic Haisla art for future generations to understand and visualize. Lyle has been involved with many important private and public commissions that have aided in the awareness of Haisla art.

Additionally, he has been involved in a number of group and solo exhibitions since 1981 both locally and abroad. Some of his public commissions can be viewed at the Museum of Anthropology, BC Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Consulate in Osaka, Japan, Canadian Institute for the Blind, EXPO 1992 and at the UBC First Nations House of Learning.

  • Gax (Raven): Shamanic Version of Light

    Lyle Wilson

    Price upon request

    Marine Ivory, Abalone shell

  • Halxinix (Orca) & Eel Sculpture

    Lyle Wilson

    Price upon request

    Marine Ivory, Abalone shell

  • Nolax’s (Sea Lion) Miya (Salmon) Journey

    Lyle Wilson

    Price upon request

    Marine Ivory, Abalone shell

  • In the Beginning: Light Released (Raven & Light) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $800.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

    This pendant is a depiction of the tale of Raven Releasing Light Into the World. Raven is shown, with his sharp tongue, holding one of the three sources of light, the Star, in his beak. The other two sources, the Sun & Moon, sit above and below him respectively. We see the Sun’s intense rays radiating out in straight lines and the Moon’s glowing beams diffusing out in concentric circular These were the only three light sources when the world was still forming and coming into balance.

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • Light (Moon with Raven Wings) Earrings

    Lyle Wilson

    $1,000.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

  • T́hax°an (Red Cod) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $700.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • ‘Adumg°ali (Heron) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $700.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • Ta’q°a (Octopus) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $700.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • Ḱaḱana w. Pulx̄a (Hummingbird) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $700.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • Halx̄inix° (Killerwhale) Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $800.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved, Stippled, Textured

     

    Silver Omero chain sold separately

  • Nanakwa 6: Coloon, Exstookoya & Ancestor

    Lyle Wilson

    Price upon request

    Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint

    Breaking Dawn 6: Beaver Eagle and Ancestor

    “Nanakwa: The Return Series” is a series of carvings undertaken by master Haisla artist Lyle Wilson. The series, whose name appropriately translates to “Breaking Dawn”, is the reinterpretation of historical finds from Lyles home, the Haisla village of Kitimat.

    With an impressive career spanning over thirty-five years, and the privilege of once being the Museum of Anthropology’s artist in residence, Lyle has had the unique opportunity to work with and learn from historical artworks and artifacts from past generations.

    The Nanakwa series was inspired by the scrupulous studies of four age worn “Jew-Chum” (House-Posts) in the Museum’s collection. Lyle was able to uncover carving and painting details which had been lost over the centuries. These original artifacts were recovered by Methodist Minister G.H Raley in the 1800s.

    With this deeper understanding of the historical pieces, Wilson has gone on to create a set of unique pieces that pay tribute to the knowledge of his ancestors.

    “In this manner I can respect the achievements of the previous traditional HAISLA carvers that created the old JEW-CHUM yet add my own touches to the mix — essentially meaning I can intellectually “reach out and touch base” with those old masters!”

    The piece outwardly resembles the Coloon Jew-Chum from the museum, but on closer inspection he has re-worked the design and taken stylistic influence from the other Jew-Chums in his studies. A prime example being the style of form-line painting which is particularly evident on the ancestor figure’s head is something he had uncovered on another Jew-Chum.

    “I conducted 5 days of inch-by-inch examination of the JEW-CHUM and based on that research, spent another 5 days completing 4 color-drawings which “revealed” each house-post’s hidden formline paintings.”

    “Nanakwa 6” focuses on ancestry; both in how Lyle has beautifully re-imagined his ancestor’s work, and also in what this piece depicts. Wilson was born into the Coloon clan and later in his life he was adopted into the Exstookoya clan. The piece tells the story of Lyle personal heritage and of those who came before him.

  • Owl Earrings

    Lyle Wilson

    $112.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • ḡazax̄ (Starfish) Pin/Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $600.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Engraved

  • Salmon Charm

    Lyle Wilson

    $23.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Salmon Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $56.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Sun Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $60.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Skatefish Pin/Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $82.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Raven Pin/Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $65.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Owl Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $56.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Salmon Charm Earrings

    Lyle Wilson

    $46.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Sun Earrings

    Lyle Wilson

    $120.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Halibut Pin/Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $60.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Salmon & Waves Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $56.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast

  • Spindle Whorl Pin/Pendant

    Lyle Wilson

    $117.00 CAD

    Sterling silver, Cast