Monday, 14 July 2014

Haida Gwaii Museum exhibition: Gina suuda tl’l xasii ~ Came to tell something

I am delighted to let everyone know of a fantastic temporary exhibition at the Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay, on Haida Gwaii. All of us at the Pitt Rivers have enjoyed developing relationships with Haida people, and especially with the Haida Gwaii Museum, to begin to share access to the historic Haida collections in Oxford and to ensure that the collections are cared for and interpreted to the highest standard. The Haida Gwaii Museum has developed a very important exhibition about the roles of Haida art, past, present and future.

Gina suuda tl’l xasii ~ Came to tell something features a wide range of historical and contemporary traditional Haida art created for and used within Haida society.
Curated by Nika Collison under the guidance of Haida artists and scholars, the exhibition aims to make an important and lasting contribution to the preservation and continuation of Haida art and its role within Haida society. It includes an array of historic ancestral treasures and contemporary works of over 35 artists ranging from emerging artists to masters of their traditions.
In its social function, Haida art – both visual and performance – is a companion to our Haida language, it “comes to tell something” – recording and communicating history from the time of the supernatural through to events of today; conveying family lineage, social standing, and relationships with others; expressing our connection to the supernatural and affirming our inseparable relationship to, and dependency upon, the lands and waters of Haida Gwaii. It also serves an important economic function within our nation and can be highly political.

Gina suuda tl’l xasii ~ Came to tell something provides multiple layers of access to knowledge and inspiration for new, emerging, senior and master artists and offers the general public a personal and visually stimulating glimpse into Haida art and culture. The exhibition will be accompanied later this summer by a publication which will expand on the knowledge and treasures in the display.
Evelyn Vanderhoop's magnificent robe in the exhibition, photograph Jerry McCollum

Historic robe in the collections of the PRM - not part of Gina Suuda Tl'l Xasii, but an
inspiration for many Haida and other Northwest Coast weavers. PRM 1884.56.82

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