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Sterling silver, Engraved, Oxidized
Out of stock
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Sterling silver, Engraved, Oxidized
|Dimensions||1.75 x 1.25 "|
David Neel has been creating art in the Kwakwaka’wakw style for over thirty 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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David Neel was an infant when his father, a traditional Kwakiutl artist, returned to the ancestors, triggering a series of events that would separate David from his homeland and its rich cultural traditions for twenty-five years. When he saw a potlatch mask carved by his great-great-grandfather in a museum in Fort Worth, Texas, the encounter inspired the young photographer to rekindle a childhood dream to follow in the footsteps of his father.
Drawing on memories, legends, and his own art and portrait photography, David Neel recounts his struggle to reconnect with his culture after decades of separation and a childhood marred by trauma and abuse. He returned to the Pacific Coast in 1987, where he apprenticed with master carvers from his father’s village. The art of his ancestors and the teaching of the people he met helped to make up for the last years and fuelled his creativity. His career as a multi-media artist also gave him the opportunity to meet and photograph leading artists, knowledgeable elders, and prominent people from around the world. In time he was a recognized artists, with his artwork presented in more than forty solo and sixty group exhibitions.
The Way Home is an uplifting tale that affirms the healing power of returning home. It is also a testament to the strength of the human spirit to overcome great obstacles, and to the power and endurance of Indigenous culture and art.
Sterling silver, 24K Yellow Gold, Engraved
Although Loons are not particularly common on the Northwest Coast, they are relatively well represented in indigenous artwork. The Loon is highly respected for its ability to move from water to land to sky, therefore inhabiting multiple realms. On a more symbolic level, this figure represents piece, tranquility, generosity, and wealth.
Many shamans consider the Loon to be one of the most important animal spirit helpers. This is largely due to its haunting cry, the sound of which is believed to carry a certain element of magic. According to the oral traditions on the Northwest Coast, the Loon’s voice acts a bridge between the animal and spirit worlds.
In this striking piece, David Neel perfectly captures the Loon’s mystical nature. The Supernatural Loon Pendant was inspired by an ancient tale, in which the Loon assists Raven, also known as the Transformer. The Loon takes him on his back and dives underwater, transporting Raven vast distances to another land. The story demonstrates one way in which the Loon can serve as a gateway to the supernatural.