Raven Brings Light to the World.
guud sans glans (Eagle of the dawn) Robert Davidson.
The humanlike face simultaneously represents the sun, the moon and the stars.
The circle surrounding the face represents raven holding the combined celestial bodies.
Whenever I walk down through the museum I always smile as I walk by this mask.
The piece is visually striking.
The richness of the cedar and the symmetry of the face.
It evokes emotion in the viewer or perhaps just in me.
I am so lucky to be able to see this mask so often and to appreciate all of the work that went into its creation.
“I feel that, for Haida people it’s the art that has helped us to reclaim our place- to reclaim our beliefs, mythology and spirituality.” -Robert Davidson
In my own life experiences this quote has so much meaning.
Growing up off Island, without much of a cultural connection to Haida Gwaii meant that I didn’t and still don’t know a lot about Haida stories and ways of life.
I am not stating this as an excuse. I am continuously learning by studying art, reading stories and talking to other people.
Haida art has so much strength in the stories that it tells.
What a gift Robert has to be able to portray these stories so beautifully in his work.
This commitment to Haida art allows Haida and non-Haida peoples’ to begin to have an understanding of our history and our stories through the art form.
In my opinion the best art is art that causes an immediate reaction.
Whether positive or negative or somewhere in between my initial reaction of a piece forms the groundwork for continual analysis of art pieces.
The pieces I love the most are those that cause an emotional reaction.
Photo by Michaela McGuire
Human features in Haida art are something that I love to photograph.
I have a strange and wonderful fascination with nostrils/noses as well as carved eyes.
On totem poles nostrils are often depicted with a bit of swirl – this is a feature that I am constantly searching for when I look at art.
The nose in this piece is very realistic and true to human form.
The depth in Robert’s carving is perfection.
When I look at it closely I notice the curvature of the eye socket, the perfection of his shapes.
I love the shape of the mouth on this piece.
A lot of Haida artists focus on one feature in the face. Robert’s work on each detail of this mask is exceptional
Haawa Robert for continually creating pieces that invite, excite and inspire.
Blog written by: Michaela McGuire, Project Officer at GNC and HHC, Photographer and new-ish Skidegate resident.