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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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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.
Bronze Cast, Marble base
Edition of 12
9.5 x 8 x 5″
Volcano Woman is perhaps one of the oldest and most revered legends which tells of a mortal”s fate if he/she does not treat sacred objects or creatures with respect. In defense of her beloved wild creatures, she controls the powerful volcanoes. Stories tell of how the killing of a frog leads the Volcano woman to destroy an entire village.
Volcano Woman is a supernatural, powerful person in First Nations mythology. She had a son who, like his mother, had supernatural abilities. He often liked to change from his Human form to that of a Frog (Wukus).
Years ago, a Prince and his two friends went fishing. Hungry, they lay their food on leaves. The Wukus (Frog), being mischievous, jumped on their food. Twice the young Prince threw the Frog into the shrubs but on the third time they threw the frog into the fire and killed the innocent creature.
A few nights later, a woman could be heard crying and wailing. “Who has done this, come forward and I will spare your village.” This warning went unheeded for some time until finally a Woman of the Elders went to the village outskirts to see her. Volcano Woman instructed the Woman of the Elders to send forth the three young men and she would spare the village from volcanic destruction. The Woman of the Elders begging for the sake of the Village told of Volcano Woman”s ultimatum – but this warning went unheeded.
On the final night of the village’s existence, Volcano Woman was heard saying, “I asked for those responsible to take heed and now you will know my vengeance.” The Village shook, a Volcano erupted, destroying the village and all who lived there.