This piece was a commission from the Clayoquot Bioshere Trust to reflect the Hisinquiith regional gathering of September 17 2017. As I understand it, the Biosphere was given some money from the federal government to hold an event to celebrate Canada`s 150th anniversary for the region. To the credit and diversity of the board of the trust they recognized that is not something that at least half of the west coast population celebrates. So they consulted some elders who advised to formally invite all 7 of the communities of the west coast to gather. Feed them and give them a chance to speak to repersent who they are. And so the Hisinquiilth gathering was created. I was asked to create an art piece for the gathering itself but there was not enough time and I also was very unclear about what the gathering was so we agreed that I would create something to reflect the gatherng out of what I witnessed on that day. The gathering was largely all about reconsilation.
It took me close to a year to complete the carving. Several things happened in the last year that influenced the process. I was able to help carve on a totem pole for the Cramner Family of the Namgis village in Alert Bay. This is a very impressive pole. The principal carver is Kevin Cramner, a very generous man and a brilliant spokesmen for his people. I was invited to the potlatch in Alert Bay that the pole was carved for and needless to say I was blown away by the experience. These experiences influenced the design of my carving.
The other signifigant events were the passing of both of my parents within 5 months of each other. They both lived in Ontario. There was a lot of travel to deal with their affairs and there has been a few years of it as they both had dimentia and lived seperately. I took a lot of other work this year to pay for the continued travel and care of my parents. It was always a joyous time to get back to focusing on my carving and a lot of that emotional energy went into this piece. I blew by the financial paramaters of this commission because it became so much more meaningful to me. I needed its medicine.
I am very humbly grateful for this opportunity to speak through my art with this piece. It now lives in Tofino at the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust office on Main St. It will trave to different communties for different events.