Raven Finned Killer Whale Pin and Pendant by Henry Green, Tsimshian
Henry Green, Tsimshian
hand carved sterling silver
2.25" high x 1.75" wide
Henry Green, known as Wii Gwinti in his native Tsimshian, works with spirit and ease as an accomplished and exquisite engraver of silver and gold. He is a printmaker and carver of masks, panels and poles. His technical expertise demonstrates sensitive fluid lines with expansive contrasting reliefs. There is a vital and exciting spatial transformation seen through all mediums of medal, paper and wood. These materials invested with his strength for consistent technique has made Green a unique and influential artist in the post-renaissance culture. His impact has been guided and sustained by an intensive approach to specific Tsimshian design and mythology. Within this context, his commitment for stylistic purity has allowed for a rich innovative portfolio of multi-media processes.
Henry Green was born in 1956 in the small community village of Lax Law Laams (Island of Wild Roses), Port Simpson, British Columbia. His family and ancestors have inhabited this remote coastal area over 1000 years. Henry Green began carving at the age of 10. He experienced a potent awakening to his cultural legacy when an important part of his youth was obliged passage through a government residential school. He reemerged to begin years of self initiated study and also became a skilled and intuitive salmon troller. In 1976 his innate natural abilities integrated with his rich Tsimshian traditions and began his carving career.
His work and artistry evolved in the traditional way with new experiences, innovations and techniques. Green attributes his strong motivation and exploration of North West Coast design to apprenticeships with artist/carvers: Frieda Diesing, Alvin Arkins, Don Yoemans, Victor Reece, Phil Janze, Dempsey Bob, and Reg Davidson were all inspirational. In 1986 Henry Green received his Native Tsimshian name, Wii Gwinatt. The twenty year process of extensive art works and exhibits gives an eloquence of design that is inclusive of his passion and commitment to native education.
Wii Gwinatt supports aboriginal initiatives, mythology and design through giving lectures, establishing workshop and training programs for younger emerging artists. He has offered instruction in basic design, tool making, wood carving and silver engraving. While establishing quality in both two and three dimensional art, he retains his origins of heritage and merges cross cultural imagery in contemporary works.