People of the Cedar - new work from Northwest Canadian artists

29 November 2007 - 28 February 2008

Sofitel Melbourne

Curator: Rocque Berthaium

Producer: Global Art Projects

This exhibition explored the mythology of the First Nation people of the Northwest Coast of Canada. The people of the Northwest Coast of Canada are often referred to as the 'People of the Cedar'. In their mythology, the great cedars, towering 45 metres high, possessed power and soul. Its spiritual role was contemplated by its many practical uses, from canoes to cooking vessels, homes and totem poles and even clothing.

This exhibition include masks, items of clothing, ceremonial and utilitarian objects that reflects the richness and diversity of a relearned tradition. Each piece is unique and a precious link to the heritage of the artists and carvers who made it, including among them the Gitxsan, Tsimshian, Haida, Nisga'a, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish.

The exhibition was shown at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra and in Wellington New Zealand and draws on collections from the Canadian Consulate, Sydney, the Canadian High Commission, Canberra and other public collections in Australia. Many of the works in the exhibition were also for sale, and were produced especially by artists from the Freda Diesing School of Community College in Terrace, British Columbia.