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Artist / Maker : Livingston, John
Title : Bella-Bella Chest Study, Human End Design
Date (Execution) : 1992
Geographical Origin : Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Canadian, Kwakwaka'wakw
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Paint
Support / Technique : Paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : This silkscreen print is in the colours red, beige, and black on white paper. The image of a human head is in the traditional Northwest Coast style. The red border around the head image is the outline of the end of Bella Bella chest box, that this is a study of. The human head in the centre faces to the right of the print. The head is oblong in shape, outlined and detailed in black. The head has dorsal-like fins at the top front and the back bottom.
Accession # : U001.11.453-5
Width (cm) : 40.50
Height (cm) : 46.25
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit :
Artist Statement : "I was fortunate enough to come across fragments of an old chest which comes from Bella Bella. Although the chest was in extremely bad condition I felt it was an excellent design. After restoring the old fragments (which have since become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver), I painted the four sides to the chest. Working with the original form lines and parts of the secondary designs I have tried to bring the chest back to its original beauty. Most always these chests have a human or half human side and an animal side. In this case there's a bird design. Unlike other chests which have very simple end designs, the quality of this chest also shows in the human face end designs which are not only two colour painting but also incorporate cross hatching. The quality of the design and the fact that it's painted with Native made pigments dates the chest to the latter half of the 1800's. The operculum shells (which are part of a sea snail) were most always inlaid in one side only of the lid. In this case I placed them on the bird side. Each time I have the opportunity to world with old designs like this I believe it expands my artistic horizons."