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Token Totem Pole

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260cm x 260cm x 5cm
Acrylic on Birch Panel

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To me this is the most iconic and recognizable figure in Northwest Coast culture. Many people may not know much about First Nations art as a whole, but show them a totem pole and they immediately know what it is. For me this had to be included in the exhibit,  because it’s the image that instantly came to mind when I thought about my contribution to the international nature of this show. I think it’s important to include an image that seems obligatory or that people would expect. Token Totem Pole is familiar and makes sense, yet the contemporary abstraction in it refers not just to the long-ago past, but also to the centuries of interaction between settler societies and indigenous peoples of the area.

Style: Northwest Coast Contemporary

Country of Origin: Canada