Haida Shark Paddle
carved yellow cedar paddle with acrylic paint
signed and dated 1991
64 5/8 x 6 x 1 3/8 in, 164.1 x 15.2 x 3.5 cm
Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Sold for: $2,500
Derek Simpkins Gallery of Tribal Art, Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver
Hailing from a family of Haida art legends that includes his brother Robert Davidson and great-grandfather Charles Edenshaw, Reg Davidson is part of a generation of artists responsible for the rebirth and continuation of the Haida visual tradition. He views his work in the context of a proud history, and produces it in an effort to reclaim and pay homage to the sophisticated artistic heritage of the Haida people.
After working on numerous projects alongside his brother Robert, Reg emerged as a celebrated artist by distinguishing himself as an expert mask carver. Central to Davidson’s life on Haida Gwaii is traditional ceremony and dance, for which he carves new masks to be used as a part of the ceremonial function. Proficient in a variety of artistic media including metalwork and screenprinting, he is also recognized as a singer and dancer, and performs as the principal dancer with the group he and his brother founded in 1980, the Rainbow Creek Dancers. In 1986, Davidson, along with Glen Rabena, carved the first modern pole to be raised in Massett as part of the ceremonial assumption of a chiefly name since the practice had been outlawed in 1884.
Davidson has enjoyed an illustrious career which includes being personally commissioned by Damien Hirst for a pole, as well as a commission for Vancouver International Airport in 2016, which included two sculptures, a large bentwood box and a 24 foot pole. In 2008, Davidson was the recipient of a British Columbia Creative Achievement Award.
In 1990, a private arts organization in San Francisco commissioned Davidson to complete a 30-foot canoe as part of a six month public demonstration of traditional Haida arts in San Francisco. This canoe, titled Yaalth Tluu (Raven Canoe) was returned to Haida Gwaii after the project, where it is now used for ceremonial occasions and special events.
Haida Shark Paddle is one of several that was carved by Reg Davidson for the Yaalth Tluu.
Further information on the making of the Yaalth Tluu can be found on the Museum of Anthropology's website: http://www2.moa.ubc.ca/voicesofthecanoe/making/haida/index.html
All prices are in Canadian Dollars
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