"EYES OF SOCIETY - A REGIONALIST PERSPECTIVE"
The Maritime Museum of British Columbia
April SGaana Jaad White
SGaana Jaad (Killer Whale Woman) Dadens Yaghu’jaanaas Raven Clan Haida
'Tlúu Jaad' (Canoe Woman)
2014 Serigraph on archival cradled board – 30” x 30”
Hand-pulled serigraph – 11” x 7½”
Hand-pulled serigraph – 8” x 11”
April White earned her Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the University of British Columbia. She has worked as a field geologist in many remote areas of the North American West, rendering the natural world into maps and honing her intrinsic artistic inclination. Th is experience has been invaluable in developing the visual facility fundamental to creating her works of art. The essential spirit she captures reflects a life defined by proximity to the salt water. Gaining an internal perspective while working on the water and fully experiencing the dynamic power of this life-force has strengthened an enduring personal connection.
Born on Haida Gwaii, of the Yahgu’jaanaas Raven Clan. Through her father, she is a direct descendant of the renowned Stasas Eagle Chief and Haida artist Charles Edenshaw and Haida weaver Isabella Edenshaw. Formally named SGaana Jaad (Killer Whale Woman) in potlatch by elders of her clan, she strives to honour this powerful name and to be respectful of their wisdom in her naming.
Entirely self-taught, April’s inherent expressiveness derives from her Haida heritage where being an artist is an honoured, traditional profession. The freedom to explore the limitless possibilities of imagination and creativity is a legacy of this tradition. April feels it is a privilege to demonstrate her reverence for her ancestors as she interprets the natural and mythological world, employing scientific methodology and traditional Haida values.
“From inspiration through to artistic expression... it’s as if I am experiencing innate memories that connect me deeply to my cultural past. It’s as if my brain is really doing the seeing, not my eyes. The feeling of this cerebral vision is supernatural... magical.”
“The Haida have a saying, ‘The world is as sharp as a knife.’ Inherent in the creation of my art is an awareness of the challenges presented by my choice of media: every stroke or cut is irrevocable and fills me with exhilarating suspense... I’m living on the knife’s edge.”
Andrew Cheddie Sookrah
'Hotsprings Island, Pause Before the Crossing'
2019 - Acrylic on Canvas - 36” x 24”
Reflecting on that shared channel used by two entities for mutual benefit, after witnessing respect for the whales from the young lady who was captain of our craft, which resulted in a long distance sighting and with no disappointment . . .
'Heading To That Shared Channel, Victoria Harbour'
2019 - Acrylic on Canvas – 30” x 40”
The ReEncounter Group of artists on their expedition from Tanu to Ninstints in Gwaii Haanas, stopped in at Hotsprings Island before a particularly challenging crossing; one that would confirm a commitment to the journey.
Andrew Cheddie Sookrah is a Canadian artist living, working in Toronto and member of Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Society of Canadian Artists (Lifetime, Mentor), Ontario Society of Artists, Portrait Society Of Canada. Sookrah is a raw colourist whose free brushwork is confi dent and powerful. His strengths can be seen in his strong sense of design, exquisite use of effective composition, and confident presentation of bold colours. His is a masterful exploration of the interconnectivity of everything.
“All of my work is the result of an intense interview between my existence and that of my subject's. I would hope that the result be informed more by knowledge rather than by mere belief."
2019 - Watercolour on Paper – 25½” x 20¾”
"I was born in Nova Scotia, and grew up intimately connected to its Atlantic coast. This upbringing plays a central role as an inspirational catalyst in my underwater seaweed paintings. I earned a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and have lived throughout Canada, inspired by the bodies of water where I have lived. “More than just the simple composition of the underwater universe, I try to communicate all the subtle layers of these ecosystems and their quiet strength.” Using a variety of media, watercolours, pastels, and ink, I explore the subtle language of this underwater world; painting the dancing seaweeds, the play of light and shadow, of textures, and movement. Having dove and snorkelled in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Caribbean, I strive to communicate the energy that resonates the language of the sea, unheard but deeply felt. I truly believe that subconsciously there is a connection with us and the sea, a primeval attraction, that we are drawn to it; that it calls to somewhere deep inside all of us. It is my intention that those experiencing my work feel a connection with the sea in which they feel a spark of knowing within themselves, that they too, belong to this complex global ecosystem."
“I seek to paint the spirit of the underwater. I am an advocate for seaweed environments, needing to communicate how critical these habitats are to life on Earth. The oceans are the lungs of the planet, more so than any forest. The atmosphere of the planet was born from, and still is in most part fed by aquatic plants. Seaweeds are the forests of the oceans; nurturing all life from the microscopic to the largest animals of this planet. A recent trip to Haida Gwaii reaffirmed for me a responsibility to bring awareness to the challenges of seaweed environments. Driven to speak for a habitat that most people do not experience in person, my paintings take you below the surface to experience this dancing web of life. Ecosystems are a delicate balance. All Life is interconnected, woven, dependant on the whole to exist. Climate change and human activity present real challenges to the balance of ecosystems which can collapse and disappear, forever.”
''Victoria Harbour Lighthouse'
2019 - Acrylic on Canvas – 18” x 36”
2016 - Acrylic on Canvas – 12” x 12”
Gary Landon was born in the small town of Grimsby along the Niagara Escarpment and was raised in Caledonia Ontario. His love of nature was inspired in childhood exploring the wild spaces surrounding the Grand River. The curiosity and admiration for nature was taken indoors and became exemplified through paintings and drawings that resulted in many art awards beginning in childhood, including an award initiated by Pierre Trudeau to celebrate Canada’s centennial. This saw his art work travel across the country at the age of twelve. He also won the Ron Young Art Scholarship before attending Guelph University’s fine art program. Along with painting and sculpting, a passion for photography and wilderness adventure developed. Today Gary continues to be inspired by a genuine respect for nature and he is compelled to celebrate her seemingly endless connections through his work. Gary has donated his works to organizations such as Th e Haldimand-Norfolk Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Pelee Island Bird Observatory (PIBO), The Stephen Lewis Foundation and Ducks Unlimited, and his paintings are to be found in numerous private collections.
“I've always been curious about all that goes on around us in life; art, for me, facilitates a humble truth seeking and exploration of this curiosity. It is an examination of that which captures the soul's attention and why. It starts with an connection to a subject, an inspired push to explore, and ends with understanding that can only come by working that inspiration into art. This work can then be shared with many others as art, in the end, is a language we can all understand. It bridges class and culture and gives truth a chance. I feel privileged to have art as my vessel of investigation and can never see an end.”