By Karen Duffek, Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Ruth B. Phillips, Nika Collison
Bill Reid’s paintings has lengthy been stated for its astute and eloquent research of Haida culture, and for the ambiguity of constructing sleek paintings from the outdated Haida tales. It helped to make the so-called renaissance of Northwest Coast local paintings noticeable to all. Bill Reid and Beyond will pay Reid the praise of increasing on his personal clear-eyed self-scrutiny as he got here to face for local paintings and artists, extra might be than he may have wished.
The book’s nineteen participants write from many views, breaking down limitations among paintings heritage and anthropology, among educational and artist, among colleague and politician.
Alert to the political, fiscal, and social occasions of invoice Reid’s lifetime, that have appreciably replaced the way local paintings is produced and bought, this publication participates within the very important ongoing debates approximately local paintings, demonstrating vividly that the alternate of rules can, like artworks, swap people’s minds.
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Additional info for Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art
As he himself reflected, he was well into his teens before he even became conscious of the fact that he was anything other than an average North American Caucasian. Whether or not Bill saw a clear fork in the road at that time, one road pointing back to his Native roots, the other to a future in the white world of art and business, and made a conscious decision at this point, I do not know, but certainly there was born then a sense of aﬃnity with his Native ancestors, a recognition of common experience across the years, a belief in their dignity and a respect for their accomplished and responsible art—for it was art in the service of the community.
That gift of blood didn’t make him feel a Haida, and he desperately wanted the feeling of cultural security he had witnessed in that first encounter with his elders. In the early days Bill often referred to what he (and perhaps others) did as “artifakery,” and it only struck me belatedly in thinking of all this that it was a reference to the fact that he did not consider himself authentically Haida. He made things quite clear to me some years later on my first trip to Haida Gwaii. We were on a film shoot, and between episodes at T’anuu, with Bill sitting on a moss-draped rock or stump, everything beaded with tiny luminous pearls of mist, I asked Bill why, when he had approached the fork in the road, he had followed the Native path back to his ancestors rather than pursuing the mainstream route for which he appeared to be well prepared.
Certainly, if in achieving his success in the urban world he had leaned heavily on his ancestors, as he constantly reminded himself, he knew that the reverse was equally true: the ancestors could lean heavily on him once he took up the burden of Native causes. He knew that the art was not separable from the culture, and his prolonged immersion in the art led him to a profound respect and feeling for their makers’ larger accomplishment as human beings. And so he became the silver-tongued spokesman for his ancestors, exerting constant eﬀort to compel the world to recognize his forebears’ essential qualities, through his eloquent writing, frequent interviews and appearances as guest speaker at conferences, openings and other events.
Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art by Karen Duffek, Charlotte Townsend-Gault, Ruth B. Phillips, Nika Collison