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Breathing Stone: Contemporary Haida Argillite Sculpture

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12 x 9 inches


Breathing Stone presents extraordinary new sculptures by contemporary argillite artists of Haida Gwaii- the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Breathing Stone begins with author Carol Sheehan’s introduction to Haida culture and the historical realities that have shaped this unique art form. There is also an explanation of how argillite sculpture is produced and how it can best be appreciated. Personal portraits of 15 sculptors and their work, illustrated by nearly 200 colour photographs taken in artists’ workshops, galleries, collectors’ homes and on-site in Haida Gwaii, demonstrate like nothing else the power and richness of this art form (Photography by Jack Litrell and John W. Heintz).

The artists of Breathing Stone are:

  • Sean Brennan
  • Michael Brown
  • Donnie Edenshaw
  • Shaun Edgars
  • Chris Russ
  • Gary Minaker Russ
  • Marcel Russ
  • Lionel Samuels
  • Jay Simeon
  • Robert Vogstad
  • Darrell White
  • Gryn White
  • Martin Williams
  • Cooper Wilson
  • Freddie Wilson

About the Author

Carol Sheehan is a leading authority on Northwest Coast culture and art. Her experience includes the organization of major argillite gallery exhibitions of argillite, in particular the celebrated Glenbow presentation Pipes That Won’t Smoke; Coal That Won’t Burn: Haida Argillite Sculpture, generally regarded as the definitive modern presentation of the subject. Her book of the same name, written to accompany the exhibit, has had a major influence in stimulating interest in argillite sculpture.

Ms Sheehan’s other published work includes chapters on the Northwest Coast in Native American Myths and Legends and Native American Arts and Crafts; and numerous entries on First Nations Artists for The Canadian Encyclopedia.

In writing Breathing Stone, the author worked closely with collectors and galleries in the United States and Canada, and held extensive meetings and interviews with all the sculptors represented in the book, in Haida Gwaii, Victoria, Port Alberni, Courtney and Vancouver.

Throughout, the excitement and commitment of the Haida artists shines through. For them, argillite sculpture is a source of intense pride, a means of showing the world the richness of their culture. The result is a book that is authoritative, passionate, original and beautiful.

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