Morris Sutherland (Moy) is from Ahousaht, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He is of the Nuu-chah-nulth nation and was born on January 4th, 1974. As a boy, he was very close to his culture and was always interested in native art. In 1995, with encouragement from family and friends, Moy began his carving career. He first learned the principles of carving from Joe Wilson in Alert Bay. Upon mastering some basic techniques, he moved from home to learn more about the Nuu-chah-nulth style from Mark Mickey and Ron Hamilton in Port Alberni.
Over the period of time that Moy has been carving, he has proven himself an intelligent and meticulous artist. With each new piece he is refining his personal style and expanding his artistic horizons. Moy is now working under long time friend and artist Carey Newman in Sooke, BC where he is the fortunate recipient of council from renowned carver Victor Newman.
Moy draws his motivation from life experience. He has worked as an archeological assistant in Vancouver Island’s famous Clayoquot Sound. He has worked as a tree planter, creek clearer and even a gardener. The common theme here is his closeness to nature. Considering that Moy has always found peace in the forest, it is fitting that nature is his greatest source of inspiration.
Moy has the benefit of learning from both Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu Chah Nulth artists. He has used these experiences to broaden his understanding of all native art forms. Although he is very careful to stay within the traditional rules and values of his culture, he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists. He is exploring different media, such as metals, gemstones, and silk screening. For Moy, art is very deeply rooted in his culture. He finds it both spiritually rewarding and educational.
Morris comes from a very traditionally rooted family where the Nuu-chah-nulth culture is a large part of every day life. Aside from artwork, he is pursuing a degree in Anthropology. Artwork and Anthropology are natural interests for Moy, because both meet on a journey into the history of his people, a journey that will reach its ultimate destination when he discovers the essence of art and culture.
Moy’s work can be found in galleries and private collections across Canada and the United States.