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MANAWA: Pacific Heartbeat, A Celebration of
Contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast Art

Spirit Wrestler Gallery
Vancouver BC Feb 11-Mar 11, 2006

Dempsey Bob - Northern Eagles
Dempsey Bob, Northern Eagles (2005), alder [Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 11-Mar 11]

Manawa- Pacific Heartbeat, an extensive exhibit of contemporary Maori and Northwest Coast art, marks the tenth anniversary of Vancouver's Spirit Wrestler Gallery. The gallery has drawn critical attention to the three decades of connections between Maori and Northwest Coast through their art events, exhibitions, conferences and artist exchanges. More than sixty pieces were created for the current show.

Todd Couper - Karanga (The Calling)
Todd Couper, Karanga (The Calling) (2005), kauri [Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver BC, Feb 11-Mar 11]

Manawa or “Heart” was chosen as the title by the Maori artists to describe the universal heartbeat of all people. The cultures of the two groups share many similarities. Prominent in the work are themes of mythical spirits, land, water and sky. Like the Maori, the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast share geographic isolation, strongly-defined social structures and abundant food sources from the forest and sea. Both cultures give prominent status to their artists, whose skills are passed from one generation to the next. During the 1960s, they both experienced international interest in their artwork and recognition for their skills and heritage.

The show includes work by renowned artists such as Dempsey Bob, Joe David, Robert Davidson, Fred Graham, Lyonel Grant, Sandy Adsett, Darcy Nicholas and Susan Point, and it introduces a new generation of artists – Lewis Gardiner, Stan Bevan, Roi Toia and Christian White, who work with unique materials including corian, jade, argillite, gold leaf and sand-blasted glass. The exhibition will open in the gallery’s new space at 47 Water Street on Feb 11th.


Mia Johnson

 Wed, Feb 1, 2006