April 4th – 27th, 2019
Traver Gallery - Seattle, WA.
The Illuminated Forest, the newest exhibition by renowned Tlingit artist, Preston Singletary, is a poignant tribute to a sacred natural realm; a realm where, according to Tlingit mythology, the Shaman resides. Always interested in connecting the traditions of storytelling in Northwest Coast Native society with contemporary culture and politics, Singletary brings fresh and newly imagined imagery to this most recent body of work. His blown and carved glass sculptures elegantly meld the traditional form-line design and iconography with modern forms, colors, and gestures; calling attention to the cultural threads that connect the two distinct temporal realities they represent.
Preston says of this show, “In the Tlingit territory, the forest is where the Shaman lived. In stillness and solitude, they observed nature and how the animals behaved. They learned about medicinal plants and connected with animal spirit helpers. From the forest came the cedar bark and spruce used to weave baskets, hats, and garments. Trees were harvested to make totem poles to illustrate clan histories and make utilitarian objects such as bowls, spoons, boxes, tools for hunting, and canoes for transportation. The forest is also home to the animals; bears, wolves and supernatural animals such as the Cannibal Giant and Kushtaka, the land otters. These are the images of the illuminated forest”. - Text courtesy of Traver Gallery
Transforming Killer Whale
Cast lead crystal
35.5" x 10" x 10"
Raven and the Box of Daylight
Currently on view until September 2nd, 2019
Museum of Glass - Tacoma, WA.
Raven and the Box of Daylight is the Tlingit story of Raven and his transformation of the world—bringing light to people via the stars, moon, and sun. This story holds great significance for the Tlingit people. The exhibition features a dynamic combination of artwork, storytelling, and encounter, where the Tlingit story unfolds during the visitor’s experience.
The glass art of Preston Singletary is rooted in the narrative of Raven and the Box of Daylight. Artwork in the exhibition will be supported by the research of Walter Porter, a Tlingit mythologist and historian. Porter’s research provides a unique perspective about Tlingit cultural stories. He was well-known for his comparative work regarding other culture’s mythologies to the Raven story, and his research will be used to draw connections to universal themes and perspectives.
Visitors will be immersed in Tlingit culture through a dynamic, multi-sensory environment. Art objects and exhibition text will be supported by audio and video elements. This will include recordings by storytellers, music, recordings of Pacific Northwest coastal sounds, and a backdrop of shadows and projected images. The exhibition is active, surprising, and dramatic, and engages the viewer through sight and sound.
Oral histories and narratives are an essential part of the survival of Tlingit culture. Recordings of Tlingit storytellers will introduce visitors to the art form of Tlingit oral tradition. These oral performances tell the story of Raven and the light and include original music and sound effects to further enhance the visitor experience. "Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight" takes visitors on an experiential journey with Raven, and the transformation of darkness into light. – Text courtesy of Museum of Glass
This exhibition will be traveling to The Wichita Art Museum (2019) and The National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. (2020).