Oil Spill Mask
David Neel is a Northwest Coast Native multi-media artist. He is a fifth generation Kwakiutl (Kwakwak'awakw) artist whose predecessors include: Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. He apprenticed with traditional Kwakiutl master carvers from Alert Bay, in addition to studying the works of Haida, Tsimshian, Tlingit and Salish artists in numerous museum collections internationally. As a Native American artist he works in jewelry engraving, wood carving and canvas painting; and his works in in numerous public collections.
This mask depicts an environmental threat that we see too often these days; oil spills from pipelines, oil tankers and off shore drilling.
It has long been a tradition among Northwest Coast Native artists to carve masks which depict historical events or people. With this piece I have created a sea creature (note the sea anemones on the forehead) to represent a maritime oil spill. It is a stylized, contemporary version of a Yagis (Kwakiutl sea monster) or Bukwis (Wildman of the Woods) mask.
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Alder Wood. Horsehair. Acrylic Paint
28" x 12" x 5"