Lootaas in Paris P20, 1989. Photo © Philip Hersee Photography. On display at the Bill Reid Gallery.
Western art starts with the figure—West Coast Indian art starts with the canoe.
- Bill Reid
Born in Victoria, B.C., to a Swiss-German father and a Haida mother, Bill Reid (1920 – 1998) became, over the course of his lifetime, one of Canada’s most important and well-known artists. His work in traditional Haida materials—as a goldsmith, carver, sculptor and canoe maker—brought unprecedented world-wide attention to West Coast First Nations art. Many of Bill Reid’s most famous pieces reside here in Vancouver, including Raven and The First Men at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (an image of which can be seen on the back of every $20 Canadian bill) and the bronze Killer Whale – Cheif of the Undersea World at the Vancouver Aquarium.
A new exhibition at Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art presents a never-before-seen look at one of Bill Reid’s greatest endeavors: the creation of the Lootass (Wave Eater), a 51-foot-long Haida canoe that traveled both 950 km along the B.C. coast to Haida Gwaii and up the Seine River in Paris in 1989.
Bill Reid & The Haida Canoe – A New Exhibition at the Bill Reid Gallery