An important young artist in the burgeoning renaissance of Coast Salish art, John Marston uses his exceptional carving talent to revitalize and advance the traditional Coast Salish formline. John employs a "shifting formline" technique, in which the intersection of lines is accentuated by the use of three-dimensial space. Subtly creative, he works within the traditional style while constantly exploring new styles and techniques that further innovate the Coast Salish formline and invoke a contemporary approach to visual storytelling.
The son of artists Jane and David Marston, John started carving at the age of eight. He refined his art as an adult while working in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, BC. John has had the opportunity to work with many Northwest Coast artists, including Simon Charlie, Wayne Young, Shawn Karpes, Silus Coon, Gary Peterson and his brother Luke Marston. While some of his pieces represent personal experiences and human emotion, other are the result of John's extensive research into old Coast Salish art and traditions.
John's carvings have increasingly been shown in museums across North America. Most recently his large free standing panel, called 'ehhwe'p syuth (To Share History), has been placed at the entrance to the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. His work can also be found on display at the Vancouver International Airport and the new Vancouver Convention Centre. Last year John and his brother took part in an exhibit at the Prince Takamoto Gallery at the Canadian Embassy in Japan. The show, titled Bridging the Pacific, was enjoyed by many. John was recently honoured as a recipient of the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art. His work can be found throughout different publications and is held in many prominent private collections.
"I am inspired by the lives of my Ancestors and the lives of our people today. I am part of an ancient tradition that continues to evoke and grow, this fills my heart with joy." - John Marston
2009British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art