"This series was designed as a portrayal of the universal elements in symbolic form, translated into Coast Salish design particular to the Coast Salish territory. Each piece was created specifically to represent the most common example of the element in Coast Salish lands.
Fire is depicted as the Sun, which shines on the land. Wate is depicted as the west coast icon, the Killerwhale. Air is depicted as the legendary creature, Thunderbird. Land is depicted in the pairing of the Eagle and the Salmon.
For the water element the most common and well-known creature of the sea in this territory is the witty Killerwhale, shown here with a smile and a blowhole, which sings the songs of the Killerwhale. The Killerwhale is much esteemed for its song and just the sight of it brings excitement and enthusiasm." -Joe Wilson
No. 2378 CP-PD5 All measurements height x width x depth
Joe Wilson, Coast Salish Nation
Joe Wilson was born in 1967 and raised at Koksilah near Duncan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Joe’s keen interest in Native Art began at the tender age of 12 whilst watching his stepfather, Johnny Sampson, designing and carving beautiful works. However, fierce competition with his younger brother, Rick, spurred his need to take on his artistry seriously- “that’s when I frustratingly started really applying myself. Even back then I had it in my heart to be one of the best out there in our field [Coast Salish Territory] and I did it.”
At the young age of 17, Joe began producing and marketing his various carvings within the local region. He has apprenticed under master carvers such as the late Simon Charlie and Coast Salish artist Charles Elliott. Furthermore, he has studied under Nuu-Chah-nulth master carver Tim Paul at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Joe has studied Coast Salish Art extensively and has emerged as one of the most prolific Coast Salish artists today. His influences include acclaimed artists Simon Charlie and Tim Paul.
A soft-spoken man, his work speaks of confidence and strength and he has developed a unique and original style. His colours are bold and unconventional, yet extremely appealing and rich.
He has always felt that the Coast Salish art form continues in its tradition to be inspiring within form and its unique flair. Joe’s artwork is not only traditionally authentic, it’s also an artistic communication link between cultures.
Joe Wilson will continue to push the boundaries of Coast Salish Art while creating works that distinguish and preserve his culture for current and future generations. His talent will continue to bring him the recognition that is reserved for outstanding artists.