Seal Vision: Shared Spirit by Teresa White (Yupik), Mark Tetpon (Inupiaq), & Don Johnston (Aleut)
Seal Vision: Shared Spirit, 2020 by Teresa White (Yupik), Mark Tetpon (Inupiaq), & Don Johnston (Aleut) bronze, fossil walrus ivory, fossil Mastodon ivory, baleen Limited edition 1 of 3 28” high x 23” wide x 10" deep
Terresa White created Seal Vision: Shared Spirit in collaboration with fellow Alaskan artists Mark Tetpon and Don Johnston. The three artists were participating in a group exhibition, and though having never met before, an alliance was formed to work on a piece together. The finished sculpture is a work of harmonious technical talent, while adding elements of their individual cultural traditions and contemporary aesthetics.
The sculpture is inspired by traditional Hooped Masks made by the Yup'ik people along the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska. Traditionally carved out of wood, the masks are danced in ceremonies to respectfully ask that animals continue to provide their bounty to the human community. The rings encircling the mask represent a spiritual universe or "ellanguaq," where animal spirit beings dwell. The outer ivory appendages represent helpers in this endeavor. In this sculpture, the central seal and human denotes the physical and spiritual importance of the seals to the people.
This sculpture was debuted at the 2020 Heard Museum Indian Fair and Market in Phoenix, AZ. It won 1st Place in the category of Sculpture: Division B, and a Judges Award. As well, the sculpture was featured in the Summer 2020 issue of First American Art Magazine.
Though edition 1 is sold, the artists are looking forward to collaborating on the next two editions. Please contact the gallery if you are interested in finding out more about commissioning this work, or about their future individual or collaborative works.