Simon Dick: In Flight
Vancouver BC Jun 23-Jul 13, 2007
As the grandson of hereditary chiefs on both sides of his family, Simon Dick has been instrumental in preserving the history, legends, music and art of his culture. He is an educational ambassador for his community, an expert carver, and a renowned Kwakwakawakw mask dancer who has represented his people around the world. In his first solo exhibition of art, Kwakiutl artist Simon Dick presents a series of carvings and jewellery pieces based on the theme of birds.
Simon Dick, Echo Mask (2007), red cedar [Inuit Gallery, Vancouver BC, Jun 23-Jul 13]
As a dancer for the Hamatsa secret society, Dicks role as the Grouse is to call forth the other dances. The bird masks in this exhibit, which he created from red cedar, cedar bark, feathers and bits of fur, demonstrate the degree to which his ceremonial artworks are a labour of love. The masks, like his dancing, are exuberant, lively, technically elaborate works of art.
Simon Dick grew up in Kingcome Inlet, BC and later moved to Alert Bay. He apprenticed under Tony Hunt Sr. for four years at the Arts Of The Raven studio in Victoria, and under Sam Henderson in Campbell River. He worked with acclaimed Haida artist, the late Bill Reid, carving a 24-foot canoe. Dick continues this tradition by taking on apprentices and teaching them the art and the ways of the First Nations People. In 1986, Dick was commissioned to create a carving for Expo by the Canadian Pavilion in Vancouver, BC. He designed and constructed a massive Thunderbird carving, measuring 40 feet high by 30 feet wide, that cradled the amphitheater.