Looking for First Nations art depicting seals
October 12, 2014 7:38 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking to find examples of Canadian First Nations art depicting seals. Ideally paintings, prints or sculptures from B.C. aboriginal artists.

Mrs A is from Vancouver and as you can probably tell from my username, we like the humble seal. We have our 15th wedding anniversary coming up, and whilst I have a romantic getaway planned, this has been delayed due to her pending exams.
I'd like to give her a painting or sculpture by a B.C. aboriginal artist featuring one or two seals (frolicking would be nice!). To give an idea of our tastes, we bought the Treaty set of prints by Andy Everson.
Price point is around $500-$1,000, but would increase this limit for the right artwork.
posted by arcticseal to Media & Arts (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Babe Gunn is a famous BC stone carver that has done many seals. I believe she assisted on the Terry Fox statue. She works in soap stone and was key I believe in getting a lot of artists into stone here on Vancouver Island.

Unfortunately she is not First Nations but I mention her because she has some really beautiful work and maybe you can find a First Nations artist through googling her. I see her sculptures on a daily basis in my town and they are wonderful.

I don't think I have seen any seals in First Nation art specifically as the tribes I am familiar with tend to do salmon, bears and whales. However, that could just be on my part of Vancouver Island.
posted by kanata at 10:15 PM on October 12, 2014


There are lots of galleries that specialize in First Nations' art. The one I'm most familiar with has (I think) a shop in B.C. You might want to do some more searching on the site, but here are a couple of carvings: seals and birds and expensive seal. I didn't see any prints in my cursory search, but they may have some.
posted by sardonyx at 10:24 PM on October 12, 2014


Group of arctic animals (including a seal)--print.
posted by sardonyx at 10:26 PM on October 12, 2014


Okay, I seem to not be hitting many BC seals. Sorry. But if you want a couple of frolicking (technically diving seals here's a pair. Or a happy looking single seal.

Here's one seal bowl from BC.
posted by sardonyx at 10:55 PM on October 12, 2014


i bet sonny assau would do a smart, contemporary commission for youhis site here

the haida, tinglit and coast salish have strong ritual traditions dealing w seal, so ritual seal work isnt that rare, make sure elders have thumbed up its sale though


Haida:

i like this carving by glen rabena in yellow cedar:which is contemporary

robert davidson's best work is more abstracted, but he is a master, and he just has a major retrospective in washington,i like how this print transfers a 3d form to 2d spirit wrestler has a good rep

Tlinglit

what you are looking for is effigy or grease bowls, but i would be really cautious about buying them, as ritual objects--avoid auction houses, and try for local work

mayberry has a decent rep, and although this is sold, a call might be worth checking out linkdont go thru bonham but another example

spirit wrestler has a contemporary form

robert davis hoffmam, poet and painter does comissions

Coast Salish

Louie Gong does a lot of great custom work, these are orca/seal shoes...but i think he does custom work hes affliated w 8gen who does some great hip hop inspired work

I really love Susan Point's work but i dont know if she does sealscontempary.

there is a huge resurgance of social practice and politucs using traditional forms, esp in the PNW, and it might be worth something to look into--aside from Assau, look at Brian Jungen, Radical Indigenous Survivance & Empowerment, Raymond Boisjoly, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.

I am missing a dozen Pacific Northwest people and artists.
posted by PinkMoose at 1:17 AM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


These are awesome links, I'm going to spend Thanksgiving Monday going through them all. Thanks all!
posted by arcticseal at 6:21 AM on October 13, 2014


tell us what you choose
posted by PinkMoose at 3:39 PM on October 13, 2014


This is the one I selected. There was a fantastic Susan Point print which was unfortunately sold out, but I'm going to do some more research and perhaps contact the artist to see if she's done anything like it since.
posted by arcticseal at 6:16 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Meant to add, the reason I bought it was that I liked the way it was holding a flipper up in the air!
posted by arcticseal at 6:18 PM on October 13, 2014


it looks like its giving you a hi5
posted by PinkMoose at 9:24 PM on October 13, 2014


Exactly! I ended up emailing Susan Point, so will see what response I get and update the thread.
posted by arcticseal at 8:51 AM on October 14, 2014


Unfortunately the first seal had his tail flippers snapped off in the mail, but the gallery was really good and accepted him back. They contacted the artist in Nunavut and asked him if he had any other seals he'd sculpted. This guy arrived in perfect condition this morning with a week to spare before our anniversary.
posted by arcticseal at 12:30 PM on November 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


« Older Cool NYC Restaurant to take Out of Town Guests??   |   Fact, fantasy, or fiction: what am I thinking. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.