british columbia art

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Brandywine Falls, British Columbia, at dusk, turned into art via long exposures and timelapse.

Raven Sculpture

Kwakwaka'wakw culture of British Columbia

Made by Harris Smith in 2000

Raven is a central character in many Northwest Coast myths. Deceitful, dark and manipulative, he is known as a trickster and existed in the world before now, when the roles of humans and animals were not so well defined. Able to change form from animals to humans to spirits, raven easily moved between the many worlds believed to exist. While he accomplished many feats, one of his most outstanding was bringing light to the world. Frustrated with living in a dark world without a smidgen of light, Raven discovered that the Sky God held light in a secret box in his house in the Sky.  He began plotting how to steal the light. According to legend, he disguised himself as the Sky God’s (Keeper of the Light) grandson in order to gain access to the magical box that held all of the light in the world–the Sun, the Moon and the stars. In the end, he fooled the Sky God and released light into the world.

Naas shagi yeil s'aaxw (Raven at the Headwaters of Nass hat) from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest.  Carved from maple; decorated with paint, shells, hair, and baleen.  Artist unknown; ca. 1810.  Now in the Seattle Art Museum.  Photo credit: Joe Mabel.

Haida crests, from tattoo designs.

The Mythology of All Races, vol. X. North American

Hartley Burr Alexander
Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1915.

Carvings and designs of the Haidah Indians

The Haidah Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands

James G. Swan, gentleman of Port Townsend, Wash.
Washington: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1874.

John Singleton Copley (1738-1815)
“Watson and the Shark” (1778)
Oil on canvas
Located in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

The painting is based on an attack that happened in Havana Harbour in 1749. Brook Watson, a 14 year-old cabin boy, lost his leg in the attack and was not rescued until the 3rd attempt. Watson would go on to become a Lord Mayor of London.