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Red Cedar wood, Cedar bark, Acrylic paint
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Red Cedar wood, Cedar bark, Acrylic paint
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 1" (88.9 x 88.9 x 2.54cm)|
Jason Hunt was born in 1973 in Victoria, BC. His family is originally from Fort Rupert, a small Kwakwaka’wakw community on the north shore of Vancouver Island. This important region of Vancouver Island is home to many of British Columbia’s notable carvers.
Growing up, Jason was undoubtedly surrounded by his First Nations artistic heritage. His father Stan Hunt has been actively carving masks and totem poles, and his grandfather Mungo Martin was a key figure in totem pole restoration projects both at the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and the Royal British Columbia Museum. It wasn’t until Jason’s third year of Business Administration at Comosun College in 1991 that he had a change in direction and began to explore the practice of Northwest Coast carving.
After watching his father during a family visit, Jason grew more interested in the practice and began to carve as well. Carving came to Jason with ease, as it has for many generations of Hunt family members. He began carving masks soon after and aspired to carve totem poles, which he eventually achieved with his brother Trevor.
While Jason’s art practice continues to grow, his work is still deeply rooted in a traditional Kwagiulth style and Jason strives to maintain authenticity in his works. His masks are exquisitely carved and explore traditional methods of design and processes of production. By using time-honored techniques to carve and create his works, he continues a historic art practice that has been passed down from generaton to generation. As a growing artist who continues to learn and expand his practice, Jason’s work can be found in several collections and continues to be sought after worldwide.
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Spoons and ladles were traditionally made from either cedar wood or the horn of a mountain sheep, and their handles were carved with family crest images. Historically, these exquisitely sculptured objects were primarily created by people in Northern Nations, and were highly sought after by other nations. During potlatches [festive gatherings], cedar ladles decorated with the hosting family’s crests were used to serve food, while the elaborately carved mountain sheep spoons were distributed as gifts among the many guests.
Today, spoon and ladle productions are based on these traditional objects and are meant to be both objects of function and display. In addition to traditional mediums such as cedar wood, goat or mountain sheep horn, many modern-day spoons and ladles are constructed of gold, silver and pewter.
Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
“People of the Eagle” Frontlet, masterfully carved and painted by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Barry Scow, represents the Chief and his people of the Eagle clan. True to form of Barry’s fine carving, this frontlet portrays the Eagle with Sun, and commemorates Barry’s link to his Grandfather, who was a Chief, and to his heritage.
A Frontlet is a forehead mask attached to a woven headpiece, worn only by Chiefs and high-ranking individuals in order to display status. This particular frontlet carries the Eagle and Sun motif. The Eagle position belonged to the highest-ranking Chief in the village.
The Eagle lives in the sky, or Upper World, and represents status, power, peace and friendship. Eagle is the Chief of the birds, an honor he shares with the Woodpecker. The Sun is a popular Kwakwaka’wakw motif, used quite regularly in their art. The sun can represent life and creative forces as well as warmth and healing.
To further establish his high position, the Chief practiced a traditional act of discarding his wealth in front of other Chiefs. Much of this wealth was in the form of copper. To break the copper or throw it into the ocean, symbolized that he and his clan were modest of their wealth and that the value of friendship weighed more than the value of material wealth.
To assist the Chief with this historical display of modesty, a subordinate was appointed. The assistant is portrayed below the beak of the Eagle, carved in intricate detail, as one can see in the teeth and tongue of the human face. Another beautiful component of this piece are the Chief’s people, delicately cradled in the beak of the Eagle.