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One of life’s most rewarding experiences is collecting fine art, and sometimes it’s best to take a little more time to make these acquisitions with ease. We understand and want to do everything possible to make collecting your next artwork more comfortable. At Coastal Peoples Gallery, we offer an interest-free layaway program and offer flexible terms which can be customized to your individual needs.
Bert is a member of the Tlowitsis tribe of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, near Campbell River on Vancouver Island. He currently lives in Campbell River and works at the House of Hamatsa carving studio. A relatively young artist, he began carving in 1994. His teachers include Bill Henderson, Junior Henderson, and Tom Hunt.
His natural affinity for carving as well as his exceptional tutelage has provided him with the opportunity to create Potlach objects for his community. Bert is continually studying his culture, learning traditions that he not only brings into his art, but practices. He has recently been initiated into the Hamatsa society.
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.