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Artifacts From a Future Dream

The "Artifacts From A Future Dream" exhibition is now on view at the Traver Gallery website. While the Traver Gallery's physical location is temporarily closed, I am committed to giving you access to the exhibition to bring the art to your home digitally. Our community is quite different now and we have had to adjust to this new reality. This short film invites you to tour the exhibition from your home. Relax and join me to celebrate the opening of "Artifacts From a Future Dream".

This show is an homage to the future generations of Indigenous people. As I create pieces and imagine themes that could evoke the spirit of my culture, it is a process. In the old days, objects were made for the opposite side of the tribe and served as a visual reminder of our shared history.

Today, my work goes out into the world and is not just exclusively for my Native community. Hopefully, the objects I create inspire the next generations to explore new materials and continue to produce the forms, tell the stories, and thrive within their communities. The forms in this show range from traditional to abstract. New color combinations explore another perspective in my work.

“Snot Boy” or Entuk is a cultural superhero. A woman who was grieving the loss of a child is crying as she walks along a beach one day. Her nose is full of mucus and she blows her nose and as it comes out it lands on an empty mussel shell. It starts to move, grow and change shape. It assumes the shape of a small boy and grows up to be a powerful leader in the tribe.

The “Transforming Killer Whale Totem” in opal white glass represents the name Kakawin-Chealth the name I share with Joe David, who also carved the original form in wood. He is my mentor, a revered Nu Chah Nulth elder and artist from Vancouver Island. This piece represents the story of a supernatural white wolf who transforms into a Killer Whale and bestows power upon the man witnessing the event.

"Fog Woman” represents the story of Raven who married Fog Woman from the cloud world. He promised the father of that realm that he would take care of and always respect his daughter. It was a time of famine and the woman started to twine together cedar bark. This enraged Raven and he became angry with her. She told him to be patient and over time she wove together a beautiful vessel and dipped it into a stream. Salmon appeared in the basket and Raven was happy again because he had something to eat. Fog Woman turned away and started walking away, she wanted to return to her father’s world in the sky, and as Raven chased after her, she dissipated back into fog and returned home.

The "Cedar Spirit Box" is a new medium, an explorative collaboration with Spike Mafford, an accomplished fine art photographer who has been a friend since childhood. We have long discussed an integration of our respective mediums. This piece is an exploration of melding photos with glass sculpture. The box form would have originally been made from cedar. The radiant image of the cedar trees, stripped in a traditional way in Neah Bay, speaks to origins, and the idea of the spirit of the living cedar which abides within the honoring box.

Contact the Traver Gallery for phone, and email consultations.

- Preston Singletary