Availability: Only 1 available
Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell
|Dimensions||42 x 13 x 10"|
Alvin Mack was born in Bella Coola, British Columbia in 1956 and is an accomplished and well-respected artist of the Nuxalk Nation. He is the last son of renowned carver William Mack and cites his father as one of his greatest influences. At the age of 13 he began to experiment with carving cedar and eventually became successful in producing quality monumental totem poles and ceremonial items containing traditional Nuxalk art forms.
Wanting to learn more, Alvin enrolled in ‘Ksan School of Northwest Coast Art, where he was taught under master carvers Earl Muldoe, Walter Harris, Vernon Stephens and Ken Mowatt, graduating at the top of his class in 1985.
Upon his return to Bella Coola, Alvin immersed himself in the culture of his Nuxalk ancestry, translating the Nuxalk mythology into every project. Mack considers creating art akin to culture, and sees no distinction between the two. He is passionate about his Nuxalk heritage and sees art as playing an essential role in keeping traditions alive and educating people about Nuxalk history.
Alvin is highly regarded in the Nuxalk community and has mentored dozens of young artists through his work at the local Acwsalcta School. Alvin creates outstanding works in several mediums, and has led many major projects in the community that can be seen in the beautiful valley of Bella Coola, B.C.
“I always go back to our history, and that history has so much lost information that needs to be rebuilt in our community. So the subject for me is to bring that history out: who we are, where we’re from, and we can let the world know ‘this is us’ through our art.”
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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
Price upon request
This piece opens to reveal an inner box with relief engraving that echos the outer lid.
Traditionally, boxes were considered prized possessions and customarily used to store wealth or special ceremonial objects such as masks, rattles, clothing and adornments. People often gave names to these beautiful ornate boxes, told stories about their histories and treated them as family heirlooms. However, non-decorated boxes acted as instruments of life – from storing less precious articles, to food and later used for mortuary purposes. In Haida mythology, a stack of boxes contained the essence from which Raven created the world.
Eagle, Dogfish, Beaver and Frog Box retains its traditional elements through conception and imagery. Derek exhibits his mastery in his precision of line and perfect symmetry of the formline of this treasure. The gently angled lid with Abalone inlay, as well as the engraved and incised elements on the box is suggestive of the prototypic bent cornered wooden boxes and chests.
The box contains not only depictions of four important crest animals, but connects to past traditions in which a box held more than the material object, it also linked people to their heritage, lineage and each other.
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