September 2, 2011

Impressive Northwest Coast objects at the Vancouver Art Gallery

If you haven't seen it already, make sure to spend some time perusing the spectacular Northwest Coast ceremonial objects at the Vancouver Art Gallery's current exhibition, The Colour of My Dreams. Guest curated by Dawn Ades, this is the most comprehensive exhibition of Surrealist art to ever be shown in Canada.

Artists of the 1930s Surrealist movement, such as Salvador Dali and Andre Breton, found themselves to be fascinated with the passion behind the creation of Northwest Coast art. These artists were avid collectors who found indigenous ceremonial objects to be especially aesthically pleasing and inventive. Included in the exhibition are several of these pieces from their collections such as this Kwakwaka'wakw headdress which was once confiscated by the Canadian government in 1922 during the potlatch ban. It has since been returned to the Kwakwaka'wakw people and has been lent by the U'Mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay for the duration of the exhibit. This exhibition is rich with history and provides an interesting, informative perspective on the role of Northwest Coast art within the Surrealist movement.

The exhibit is on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery until October 2, 2011. Since it's not travelling, it would be worth the effort to see these impressive works!

Photo credit: Trevor Mills, Vancouver Art Gallery, Kwakwaka'wakw Ya x wiwe' (Peace Dance Headdress) 1922

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