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Red Cedar Wood
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Red Cedar Wood
|Dimensions||96 x 28 x 20"|
|Nation||Haida / Metis Nations|
Born on June 29, 1958, in Prince Rupert, BC, Don Yeomans is one of the most respected and renowned Northwest Coast Native artists. Born of a Masset Haida father and a Metis mother from Slave Lake, Alberta, Yeomans has studied and worked in the Haida Style since he was a youth.
As a young man, Yeomans apprenticed under the expert guidance of his aunt, Freda Diesing. He worked with Robert Davidson on the Charles Edenshaw Memorial Longhouse and completed a jewelry apprenticeship with Phil Janze. Yeomans has also studied fine art at Langara College in Vancouver.
He has worked with many acclaimed Northwest coast artists, including Bill Reid, Robert Davidson, Phil Janze and Gerry Marks, studying their styles, techniques and philosophies.
Don Yeomans crafts his artworks in many materials: he creates exquisite jewelry pieces in gold and silver, paints elegant Haida designs on paper, produces outstanding prints and is one of the finest carvers.
His work can be found in the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Seattle Art Museum. In 2002 he completed a major totem pole commission for Stanford University.
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Breaking Dawn 6: Beaver Eagle and Ancestor
“Nanakwa: The Return Series” is a series of carvings undertaken by master Haisla artist Lyle Wilson. The series, whose name appropriately translates to “Breaking Dawn”, is the reinterpretation of historical finds from Lyles home, the Haisla village of Kitimat.
With an impressive career spanning over thirty-five years, and the privilege of once being the Museum of Anthropology’s artist in residence, Lyle has had the unique opportunity to work with and learn from historical artworks and artifacts from past generations.
The Nanakwa series was inspired by the scrupulous studies of four age worn “Jew-Chum” (House-Posts) in the Museum’s collection. Lyle was able to uncover carving and painting details which had been lost over the centuries. These original artifacts were recovered by Methodist Minister G.H Raley in the 1800s.
With this deeper understanding of the historical pieces, Wilson has gone on to create a set of unique pieces that pay tribute to the knowledge of his ancestors.
“In this manner I can respect the achievements of the previous traditional HAISLA carvers that created the old JEW-CHUM yet add my own touches to the mix — essentially meaning I can intellectually “reach out and touch base” with those old masters!”
The piece outwardly resembles the Coloon Jew-Chum from the museum, but on closer inspection he has re-worked the design and taken stylistic influence from the other Jew-Chums in his studies. A prime example being the style of form-line painting which is particularly evident on the ancestor figure’s head is something he had uncovered on another Jew-Chum.
“I conducted 5 days of inch-by-inch examination of the JEW-CHUM and based on that research, spent another 5 days completing 4 color-drawings which “revealed” each house-post’s hidden formline paintings.”
“Nanakwa 6” focuses on ancestry; both in how Lyle has beautifully re-imagined his ancestor’s work, and also in what this piece depicts. Wilson was born into the Coloon clan and later in his life he was adopted into the Exstookoya clan. The piece tells the story of Lyle personal heritage and of those who came before him.