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Red Cedar wood, Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Red Cedar wood, Yellow Cedar wood, Abalone shell, Acrylic paint
|Dimensions||15.5 x 12.5 x 10.25"|
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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Price upon request
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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Price upon request
Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Mother of Pearl
This ornately detailed panel pipe inlayed with catlanite, abalone shell and mother of pearl tells the ancient story of Nanasimgit.
The man or Nanasimgit is depicted at the bottom of the pipe holding skils to represent his stature. It shows the numerous potlatches he has held. The following story is a shortened version as told by the artist, Christian White:
One day, the man’s wife was washing sea otter skins near the ocean, when a Killerwhale arose from the surface. It coaxed her into the water and carried her seaward while her husband watched in disbelief. Without hesitation, he quickly decided to follow them until the Killerwhale dove near a two-headed kelp, which prevented him from going any further. He was feeling quite distraught as he returned back to the village but by then he had decided to seek the help of his uncle, the Frog.
The Frog offered him advice on how he could get his wife back and suggested that he take specific objects with him for his journey. He brought spruce root twine, a gimlet and medicine, placing them in his canoe. But, before he embarked on his journey, he was urged to undergo a fast in order to cleanse his body, which involved various rituals.
Once the fast was completed, the man embarked on his quest until he came across the kelp he had encountered before. He tied his canoe to the kelp along with his possessions and climbed down beneath the surface to find himself in another world. He followed a path where he encountered three blind women that resembled Geese. He used his medicine to cure two of the women while the third one chose not to accept the medicine. The cured women vowed to repay him for his deed. As he proceeded onward, the man came across two slaves, from the Killerwhale clan, chopping wood. As they proceeded to chop the wood, the head of their axe fell off and they began to cry knowing the consequences they would face from the Chief. The man stopped to assist them and in return they directed him to his wife’s dwelling. The slaves warned the man of the watchmen pole that stood in front of the longhouse protecting the inhabitants. The watchmen had the ability to scent out and watch out for intruders.
While he proceeded further on his path and thought about how to divert the watchmen, the man encountered a Heron repairing a canoe without success. The man stopped to offer him his gimlet to successfully repair the canoe. In return for his generosity, the Heron helped conceal the man under his wing blanket from the Black Whale guards and the watchmen. He successfully entered the longhouse to happily find his wife. At this point, the watchmen discovered the man taking his wife back with him, but were unable to stop him.
When the man arrived back with his wife to his village he felt a different connection with her, as though she was not herself. At night, he would keep her in a bentwood box, but one morning when he awoke, to his surprise she escaped. She left to be with her Killerwhale family and fully transformed into a Killerwhale. This was the last he saw of her.
4.75 x 10.25 x 1.25″ (without base)
8 x 12 x 5.25″ (with base)
Other works by this artist
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.