The Creator and Creative Force
The Creator and the Creative Force-
The most creative force we know is Mother Nature. She inspires me and I hope to help reflect her work and make it accessible to everyone who experiences my work. I have found people have a positive response to art work that represents all Mother Natures creations and reflects the style and motifs familiar to the age old tradition of indigenous people who always view themselves as a part of that creation. Mother Nature, her creation and those who embody and reflect all her forms and energies- are my inspiration.
I grew up in Seattle and spent years apprenticing with with local indigenous culture keepers including Duane Pasco, Joe David, George Taylor, Henry Seaweed, Ed Carriere and Joe Ives. In 1990 I asked for permission from my mentor/elder Chief Henry Seaweed to use his family crest figure the ‘Kolus’, the younger brother of Thunderbird for display as the first 1% for art public sculpture installation on Bainbridge Island, WA. Henry supported the installation of the 'Rainbringer' and headlined a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw dedication and blessing ceremony as I danced a traditional carvers dance around the sculpture. With the help of Henry Seaweed, George Taylor and several other NW Indigenous culture keepers I have continued to install sculptures throughout the Northwest often in communities where they illustrate and bring to life their own cultural stories.
I continue to teach some wood carving and paper mask and shadow puppetry residencies through the Arts Humanities Bainbridge Education program and Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture and privately. As a teaching artist, I worked with a team of educators from Seattle's American Indian Heritage High School to develop the educational study guide ‘The Ancient Art of Conflict Resolution; Northwest Native Traditions’. Today I perform mask and puppetry shows with the Hamumu Arts Collective (hamumu.org) producing films, festival and ceremonial arts and events that bring to life traditional stories and wisdom that can have an impact on future generations. And finally I continue to run a mask fabrication and movement training company called ‘The Maskery’ together with my wife, Zann, and son, Toby (themaskery.com).