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The black canoe: Bill Reid and the spirit of Haida Gwaii

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ISBN 10: 0295971444 / ISBN 13: 9780295971445
New Condition: New
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The black canoe: Bill Reid and the spirit of...

Book Condition:New

About this title

Synopsis:

It is rare for a single work of sculpture to become the subject of a book at any time, much less at the moment of its installation. But Bill Reid's Spirit of Haida Gwaii is no ordinary sculpture. Commissioned for the courtyard of the new Canadian chancery in Washington, DC, it sits directly across the street from the National Gallery and is destined to become one of the major artistic landmarks of the capital and of the North American continent.

Of Haida and white parentage, Canadian artist Bill Reid has spent his life resurrecting the indigenous Northwest Coast tradition in the visual arts. Yet has never lost touch with the European media and techniques in which he was trained. He is equally famed for his totem poles and other large pieces in wood and bronze, and for his work on a minute scale in precious metal.

The Spirit of Haida Gwaii is a black bronze canoe, 6 metres long and filled to overflowing with the creatures of Haida mythology. Its passengers include the Raven, the Eagle, the Grizzly and his human wife, the Mouse Woman and the Dogfish Woman, among others. Amidships stands a human being, wrapped in the stylized skin of the mythical Seawolf, holding in his hand a smaller sculpture: a staff on which the story of creation, in Haida terms, is told.

About the Author:

Robert Bringhurst is one of Canada's most respected poets and most probing cultural historians. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, lectured on Native American art and oral literature at universities around the world, studied linguistics at MIT under Noam Chomsky in the 1960s, and worked as a professional translator for Arabic and Greek. Bringhurst began to study the Haida language in 1982. His translations of Haida oral poetry have since appeared in major scholarly journals and in Brian Swann's groundbreaking anthology Coming to Light: Contemporary Translations of the Native Literatures of North America.

Ulli Steltzer's photographic studies of Native peoples, Princeton intellectuals, American migrant workers and the Cakchiquel of Guatamala have been shown in major exhibitions. Her books include Indian Artists at Work, Coast of Many Faces, Inuit, Spirit of the Haida Gwaii and Black Canoe.

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