Killer Whale

Gold and Copper
by Nathaniel Wilkerson, Gitxsan Tribe

  • Dimensions: 18"x15"
  • Limited Edition of 150
  • Ships within 2 weeks
  • Free Shipping & Free Returns

    Artist's StoryArtist's Tribal AffiliationType of Print

    Killer Whale

    Killer Whale is a very important crest and mythic being throughout the Pacific Northwest. In legend he is widely recognized as a clan ancestor, and is associated with power, dignity, prosperity and longevity. According to some myths, the first Killer Whale was previously a supernatural white wolf that entered the sea and transformed itself into a whale. These two beings are thus physical manifestation of the same spirit or essence.

    It was believed a Killer Whale could capsize a canoe and carry its occupants underwater to its village, transforming the occupants themselves into Killer Whales. Thus a Whale near the shore was a human transformed and trying to communicate with his previous human family ashore.

    Killer Whale is often depicted in the artwork and is a frequent motif of many print makers. The distinguishing features are clearly defined and usually consist of a round snub-nosed head, large mouth with many teeth, blowhole, dorsal fin, pectoral fin and a tail with symmetrical flukes. Killer Whales in a breaching posture are very popular as well as embedding faces and other animals in the body or dorsal fin of the creature.
    Nathaniel Wilkerson's ancestry is through the Gitxsan tribe, in Hazelton (Gitanmaax) B.C. Canada. He is a member of the Wolf clan (Lax Gibuu), house of "Amaget". He was raised in Terrace, B.C. and spent most of his time working on a family farm, Skeena River Vegetable Farms.

    At the age of 10, Nathaniel was first introduced to his tribe's artwork by instructors, Randy Adams and Robert Stanley, who came to his elementary school and taught a number of Indian art lessons. At age 11, Nathaniel attended a seminar put on by Freda Diesing at the Northern Lights Art Studio where his mother approached Freda and arranged private lessons for Nathaniel to be properly schooled in the arts of his people. From January 1984 until March 1985, he received private drawing lessons and carving lessons from Freda Diesing. With Freda's guidance, he learned the basic guidelines and concepts of Northwest Coast Artwork and became familiar with the traditional animals, mythological creatures, and their distinguishing characteristics. Through his carving work with Freida, he realized the rewarding process of seeing a piece of art develop from concept to finished product.

    Nathaniel made exceptional progress and the 7th carving he completed under Freda's tutelage was a killer whale design which was submitted to the International Museum of Children's Art, where it has remained on exhibit for a number of years.

    Freda Diesing's artwork and training has had a tremendous impact and influence on Nathaniel's work. Other artists who have inspired Nathaniel include Charles Edenshaw, Bill Reid, Robert Davidson, Don Yeomans and most recently David A. Boxley.

    In his work, Nathaniel prefers a classical approach with heavy form lines and a combination of Gitxsan, Haida and Tshimshian influences. His studies haven't ceased since working with Freda; he continually evaluates and modifies his personal creative interpretation while studying the works of great masters of the past and present.

    Nathaniel is a member of Gitxsan Nation, a Federally Recognized Tribe in Canada. He has five children and it is only with his wife, Cindy's support that he is able to take the time to generate new ideas. Nathaniel's work is sold across Canada and the USA in respected Native American Art Galleries such as Stonington Gallery and Quintana Galleries.
  • Signed, Limited Edition of 150
  • Printed: Dec. 2006
  • Paper: Rising Stonehenge 245gm/m2 Black
  • Dimensions: 18"x15"
  • Packaging: Shrink Wrapped, Unframed
  • Includes Artist Bio, Legend, and Certificate of Authenticity
  • Professionally shipped by Artist, Nathaniel Wilkerson within 2 weeks.
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