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One of life’s most rewarding experiences is collecting fine art, and sometimes it’s best to take a little more time to make these acquisitions with ease. We understand and want to do everything possible to make collecting your next artwork more comfortable. At Coastal Peoples Gallery, we offer an interest-free layaway program and offer flexible terms which can be customized to your individual needs.
Known for his work in wood, stone, precious metals and on canvas, Sean Whonnock was born and still lives in Alert Bay, BC on Northern Vancouver Island.
By the age of nine he had been introduced to the Northwest Coast Native Art form and at twelve, Sean was selected to enter a carving program led by George Hunt Jr. His art work has been influenced by other renowned carvers like Beau Dick, Wayne Alfred, Richard Hunt, Tony Hunt and Calvin Hunt. Sean is also continually inspired by Mungo Martin, Willi Seaweed and Charlie James – groundbreaking artists who helped popularize Kwakwaka'wakw art.
Sean has consistently produced carvings and paintings since 1990 and is constantly updating his own unique style. His passion is fueled by the Kwakwaka'wakw culture and his work has become valued by collectors, galleries and museums. Sean and his cousin Jonathan Henderson carved and raised a symbolic pole in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria in 1999. The pole is offered as symbolic gratitude to the Coast Salish people for sharing their land with the Kwakwaka'wakw of Northern Vancouver Island.
Sean actively honors his culture by attending Potlatches and has been initiated into the Great Grizzly Bear Society. The Whonnocks feel it is very important to keep family names and privileges alive and well and Sean continues to give back to his people and family by carving and donating specialized masks and other pieces for ceremonial purposes. He has become best known for his ornate Chief's rattles, pieces that have become widely collected and used in traditional ceremonies.
Red Cedar wood, Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint, Leather
The carving of flutes of the Northwest Coast extends back historically through time. The dramatic importance of the flute was indicated by the variety of specialized whistles, each of which was produced to make specific tones. Songs and dances were part fo all ceremony and ritual, a fundamental element of the inherited privilege. Equally important were the many whistles and other musical instruments that were specifically designated for most dances. Wooden whistles of one, two or three shafts, each with several holes and reeds produced a strong and clear note. Flutes and whistles were traditionally blown in the woods to introduce the cermonial season. Every instrument was the object of time, skill and concern and was considered by those who owned it as a necessary part of the family’s collection