Exhibition highlights the legacy of an iconic Haida artist
By CHLOË LAI
Carver and multimedia artist Gwaii Edenshaw is Bill Reid’s last apprentice (Photo by KK Law)
“[Bill Reid] had this rich voice that was made for storytelling,” says Gwaai Edenshaw (pictured). “After dinner, he’d pull a book of poems off the shelf and read a passage.” Carver and multimedia artist Edenshaw is Reid’s last apprentice, and the guest curator behind To Speak With a Golden Voice at the Bill Reid Gallery (Apr. 22 to Oct. 4). The exhibition celebrates what would have been Reid’s 100th birthday, showcasing his work and drawing from the “intimidatingly large” pool of Northwest Coast artists influenced by the 1920-born master goldsmith, carver and sculptor. Artifacts include masterpieces by Robert Davidson and Beau Dick, specially commissioned sound-based works that integrate Reid’s voice, and a never-before-displayed paddle built during the making of his famed “Spirit of Haida Gwaii” sculpture.
“One of the biggest challenges is trying to narrow it down,” says Edenshaw. “There are so many things we’d like to do, and a hundredth birthday only comes around once.”
By HANNAH POAROS-MCDERMOTT
“Skin Country” by Carol McGregor (Photo by Louis Lim. Image courtesy the artist)
To Feb. 23, 2019 For a unique insight into the nations of the Pacific region, stroll over to Transits and Returns at the Vancouver Art Gallery. In collaboration with Brisbane’s Institute of Modern Art, this transportive exhibit connects 21 Indigenous artists—including local First Nations—who tackle themes of movement, kinship, territory and representation. Carol McGregor’s remarkable possum-skin map, “Skin Country,” depicts indigenous plants used by Aboriginal communities near Brisbane, while Taloi Havini’s four-channel video “Habitat III” reveals the tense relationship between Australia and Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea. Chantal Fraser, of Samoan descent, manipulates objects to challenge cultural interpretations: don’t miss “The Way,” a dazzling rhinestone-studded wind turbine. Through their practices, the artists dive headfirst into ancestral roots and travel routes. And it’s a trip worth taking.
By SHERI RADFORD
Dennis Oppenheim’s “Engagement” comments on the balancing act that is any successful marriage. (Photo by Sheri Radford)
Ready to pop the question? The city’s most picturesque spot for proposals is at Sunset Beach (Map 1: C3), with the ocean and giant Engagement sculpture as a backdrop. For maximum romance, time it all for sunset.