Availability: Only 1 available
Red Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
21 x 13.5 x 9″
(30 x 15 x 9″ including hair)
Price available on request
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Red Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
David Neel has been creating art in the Kwakwaka’wakw style for over twenty years. His paintings, printmaking, carvings, and jewelry are all informed by his heritage, which includes several successful artists: Dave Neel Sr., his father; Ellen Neel, his grandmother; Mungo Martin, his great-great uncle; and Charlie James, his great-great-great grandfather. While many of his pieces are more contemporary in their material and design, Neel learned carving in the traditional style by his family and peers in his father’s village.
While Neel portrays meaningful stories and traditional values in all of his pieces, he says he finds jewelry the most impactful art form. He appreciates the fact that clients attach their own meaning to his jewelry and that it is used to mark important, personal events in people’s lives.
Neel has exhibited his work in many public institutions, including solo exhibitions at: the National Portrait Gallery of Canada; The Smithsonian Institution – NMAI; the Venice Biennale, and his work is represented in numerous public collections. His children are following in family legacy; studying art at the Emily Carr University and working with their father.
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Serigraph, Edition of 70
“This design depicts the legend of a hummingbird, who, while out gathering flower nectar, encountered a bear. This bear was something of a bully and would not allow the hummingbird to get near the flowers. Hummingbird tried again and again but the bear blocked her every time. Frustrated, the hummingbird gathered some twigs and flew inside the bear’s nose and down into his stomach, where she used the twigs to start a fire and then flew back outside. With smoke wafting from his nose and mouth, the bear ran away into the forest and never bothered hummingbird again. This legend teaches us that even great obstacles can be overcome.
The design is in the shape of a cedar bentwood box, which was widely used by all the tribes on the Northwest Coast. They were used as storage containers, cooking vessels, and were stacked to serve as walls inside the big-house. The sides were made from a single red cedar plank that was “kerfed” so that it could be steam bent and would be water tight. The lid was often decorated with operculum shells that were inlaid in a pattern. The boxes were painted with elaborate designs that are the foundation of Northwest Coast Native “flat design”. David has extensively studied the work of the master artists who painted the early bentwood boxes, which has influenced his hand engraved jewelry, and inspired the design for this print.”
– David Neel