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Red Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Operculum shell, Acrylic paint
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Red Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Operculum shell, Acrylic paint
|Dimensions||24 x 34.5 x 14.75"|
Moy Sutherland is from Ahousaht First Nations, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Moy carries two traditional names: Hiish-Miik, which translates as “someone who gets whatever they are after” and Chiotun from the Coast Salish village of Sliammon, which translates as “someone who helps.” Born on January 4, 1974, Moy grew up immersed in his culture and its traditions.
Moy has submerged himself in his artist career for 20 years. In 1994, Moy began his artistic career in Alert Bay, BC, learning the principals of carving. Upon mastering basic techniques, Moy moved home to his traditional territory to learn more about Nuu-chah-nulth art forms thus broadening his horizons to include the Nuu-chah-nulth style. Even at the beginning of his artistic career, Moy demonstrated intelligence and meticulousness as an artist.
In 2000, Moy’s artistic development became further focused when he began an apprenticeship with world-renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Arthur Thompson. Arthur mentored Moy until Arthur’s death in March of 2003. While working with Arthur, Moy furthered his understanding of Nuu-chah-nulth design structure and refined his skills. Through assisting with, and later working on projects together, Arthur also shared his vast knowledge of totem pole carving, traditional bentwood box construction, and articulated mask structure and assembly. More importantly Moy also learned the cultural significance of form structure, design and carving methods from Arthur. The influence and lessons of his mentor and friend are a large influence on Moy’s present day art.
Moy has the benefit of having learned his craft from both Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth artists. He has used the experience to broaden his understanding of all Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations’ art forms. Although he is very mindful of staying within the traditional rules and values of his culture, he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists. He enjoys exploring different media and he is refining his own unique style, both with modern and traditional techniques. For Moy, his art is very deeply rooted in his culture. He finds it both spiritually rewarding and educational.
Moy comes from a very traditionally rooted family, where the Nuu-chah-nulth culture is a large part of everyday life. Until his tenure with Arthur Thompson, he was pursuing a degree in anthropology, focusing on the traditional aspects of First Nations’ culture. For Moy art and anthropology are natural interests and connect to each other; he believes both meet on a journey into the history of his people; a journey that, for him, is a path of understanding and appreciating the connection between the natural world and his culture, and the expression of it in artistic form.
Moy’s work can be found in galleries, museums, magazines & books, and private collections throughout the world.
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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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Other works by this artist
Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint
“The Journey of Miat-mit” Panel is another superb work of art born from Moy Sutherland’s masterful craftsmanship and stunning Abalone shell accents. This dynamic large-scale piece also serves as a beautiful tribute to Northwest Coast Salmon, one of the most crucial resources for coastal First Nations communities since time immemorial.
Red Cedar wood
Deviating from the opulence that typically characterizes his work, Moy Sutherland’s Humpback Whale Panel utilizes a more minimalist artistic approach which highlights the richness of red cedar wood.
Cedar wood is the most traditionally used medium in Pacific Northwest Coast art, and often the artists’ diligently carved designs are highlighted with colourful paint. Cedar is strong, lightweight, and extremely versatile. These qualities lend themselves well to carving, and result in a wood that can be used to create a wide variety of objects. Although painted panels are beautiful in their own right, they tend to distract from the natural beauty of the medium itself. In contrast, the elegant simplicity of this Humpback Whale Panel allows this natural beauty to take centre stage.
Historically, whaling was an important subsistence practice for the Nuu-cha-nulth people, and played a pervasive role in their social and economic systems. Alongside the California grey whale, Humpback whales were one of the species most commonly hunted by Indigenous communities in the region. While Humpback whales are not often depicted in Pacific Northwest Coast art, Grey and Humpback whales, as well as other imagery related to whaling, play a significant role in the artistic traditions of the Nuu-chah-nulth.
Moy Sutherland has learned his craft from both Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth artists, and has used this experience to broaden his understanding of all Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations’ art forms. Although he is very mindful of staying within the traditional rules and values of his culture, he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists. He enjoys exploring different media and he is refining his own unique style, both with modern and traditional techniques. For Moy, his art is very deeply rooted in his culture. He finds it both spiritually rewarding and educational.
Red Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint
According to ancient Nuu-chah-nulth oral traditions, Raven has married every character in the spiritual pantheon of the Pacific Northwest Coast. However, in each marriage, the union was never consummated. The marriage of Raven and Frog is no exception.
Once the wedding was over, Raven asked his wife, Frog, to come join him in bed. Frog told him that she would join him after she had gone outside to sing for a bit. However, while Frog was singing, Raven ended up falling asleep. The same thing happened the next night, and every night that followed. Thus, as with the rest of his marriages, Raven was never able to consummate his marriage with Frog.