May 29, 2015

Nathan Wilson Grizzly Bear Mask

Lattimer Gallery has been carrying the work of young Haisla carver Nathan Wilson since 2007. He recently created an intriguing cedar mask for us titled The Grizz Who Looked Back at Me. Designed as a three-quarter profile mask rather than a frontal/symmetrical mask, this piece has a dynamism that many Northwest Coast First Nations masks lack.

Nathan said about this mask: "During a mid-April hunting trip, I was some 40km up the upper Kitamaat River valley. It had been a very uneventful day until I came to the top of a small hill. Out of nowhere, a large male Grizzly stood up from is resting spot on the side of the road! I stopped dead in my tracks as my brain was trying to process what was no more than 50 yards in front of me. He didn't seem to mind my presence, so over the course of an hour I followed him (at a safe distance, of course). Many times he stopped and looked back at me and I knew at some point I had to carve a mask of him. The experience has left me with a deeper appreciation for these animals and how intimidating a large Grizzly can be..."

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