Sunday, June 04, 2006

Bill Reid in Vancouver


The bear of the Haida sculptor Bill Reid looks out on the Gallery of the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. This space is indeed a fine treat of light by the architect Arthur Erickson (see last month's posting) - though the exterior grounds need landscaping to give the museum the interplay with the surrounding landscape of land, water and mountains it deserves.
Erickson was given a turret to work around when designing the museum - and ingeniously built a space for an original Bill Reid commission to be craned in and rest beneath a perspex cupola. 'The Raven and First Men' has the power of great story-telling captured in the detail as you wander around and around the piece.

Another Bill Reid awaits at Vancouver Airport, a mythical setting for a piece about new lands and travelling the waters. 'Jade Canoe', or 'Spirit of Haida Gwai' (Haida Gwai meaning islands of the Haida people) it again unravels stories as you voyage around it. The last picture here is of a detail tucked into the rear of the sculpture, the character of 'Mouse Woman'. She is the grandmother of the raven, who has been forced to shoulder the blame for many of her wilful misadventures.


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