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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.
Elsie was born April 6th, 1961 in Esperenza, British Columbia. She was raised in Nuchatlahtz, a village located along the West Coat of Vancouver Island. Elsie John is a world-renowned carver, and is one of the only female Native artists in Canada to have mastered the fine art of carving ivory. She also works in such media as mammoth and mastadon tusks, fossilized walrus tusks, bear and walrus teeth, moose, elk and caribou antlers, mountain goat and buffalo horns, whale teeth and bones.
As a youngster in her early teens, Elsie received instruction and inspiration from her grandfather, Jimmy John, an internationally renowned artist, well known for his carvings of totem poles, masks and silvers jewelry. John was a direct descendant of Chief Maquinna of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, who first greeted Captain Cook at the entrance of Nootka Sound. John, a hereditary chief through his bloodline, passed away in 1988 at the age of 114.
Although Elsie did not receive formal training, the guidance of both traditional and cultural expertise she received from her grandfather far exceeded any scholastic experience she might have gained from a formal academic institution. The traditional and cultural art forms that Elsie integrates into her carvings are not taught in any of the First Nation’s fine arts programs in Canada.
Red Cedar wood, Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint, Leather
The carving of flutes of the Northwest Coast extends back historically through time. The dramatic importance of the flute was indicated by the variety of specialized whistles, each of which was produced to make specific tones. Songs and dances were part fo all ceremony and ritual, a fundamental element of the inherited privilege. Equally important were the many whistles and other musical instruments that were specifically designated for most dances. Wooden whistles of one, two or three shafts, each with several holes and reeds produced a strong and clear note. Flutes and whistles were traditionally blown in the woods to introduce the cermonial season. Every instrument was the object of time, skill and concern and was considered by those who owned it as a necessary part of the family’s collection