February 20, 2010

Gold Medal Winning 'Turtle and T-Bird' Helmet

We would like to congratulate Tsimshian/Cree artist and friend of the gallery, Phil Gray, for his recent Olympic helmet design. Phil designed the helmet for gold medal-winning Skeleton racer, Jon Montgomery.

In September of 2009, members of the Olympic Skeleton Team consulted with British Columbian shaman Sandra Molendyk to receive some spiritual guidance, and to have their sleds blessed. During this consultation, Montgomery discovered that his spirit animal is the turtle. After Montgomery discovered this, he decided to commission a helmet from local First Nations artist, Phil Gray.

The helmet is black, with white formline design depicting both a turtle and two Thunderbirds, which symbolizes power and potency. Montgomery was holding Phil's helmet throughout the awards ceremony and Phil is extremely proud to have his helmet as part of such a historic Canadian event.

As mentioned in our previous blog posting, Phil will be carving here at the gallery until February 28th.

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