Ta-Mook is the Nuu-Cha-Nulth word for the Kingfisher bird. This sculpture represents a vision that I had in a Sweatlodge ceramony. The Sweatlodge is what the bird is hovering over. When I was in the lodge I could hear a pair of Kingfishers flying around and nattering loudly as they are prone to doing. At one point there came a particularly loud twitter and like a flash of lightening I saw a huge Kingfisher`s beak break through the top of the lodge and strike the rocks. It was a gift of power and teaching. I was left with this image in my mind. It is with gratitude and satisfaction that I am able to bring it out in this sculpture to share.
The designs on the bird are rooted in Nuu-Cha-Nulth style. I am fortunate enough to have lived in the territories of the Nuu-Cha-Nulth chiefs for 27 years and have been adopted into the matrix of family. My brothers are artists and are schooling me on design. It is a life long study of which I am a humble student.
The Bird is carved from 5 pieces of Yellow Cedar. I did not have a single piece large enough and I need to turn the grain of the wood to run down the beak for strength. There is a brass rod drilled through the beak and deep into the head to support the carving. The black paint helps them seem as one. This is also the first time that I have used paint on a sculpture.
The fire pit where the rocks are heated is represented underneith the tail of the bird. The lines in the base represent the 4 cardinal directions and the 4 secondary directions. This makes up the simple but sacred geometry that the sweat is built around. The base is made with a piece of Broadleaf Maple and the Sweatlodge is made from Red Cedar branches that are tied together with artificial sinew. The finish is Saicos Hardwax Oil. There are 4 bumpers on the bottom to keep the piece from sliding.
Photos by Michael Farrow
For sale at Gallery 8 on Salt Spring Island. $7000