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U014.3.480
Artist / Maker : Preston, Mark ; Tenna Tsa Teh
Title : Raven
Date (Execution) : 2001
Geographical Origin : Dawson, Yukon, Canada
Cultural Group : Tlingit
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Narrow horizontal rectangular composition in black, turquoise, red and white. Abstract shapes of animal forms with a predominant red horizontal band across the bottom edge.
Accession # : U014.3.480
Width (cm) : 37.00
Height (cm) : 18.50
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "Full of magic and supernatural powers, Raven is the most complicated figure in the lore of the West Coastal peoples. In this depiction you can see raven wearing his spruce hat with the head of salmon under his beak used as a claw. The story is often told of raven transforming into a small boy, however, in my depiction, he transforms into a young girl. She befriends the old chief and wins his trust only to steal the stars, the moon and the sun from his big cedar chest, which he hid in the longhouse. You can see that the small girl is seated upon his own tail in a crouched position, as she hides in the box. On the other side of her the old man looks evil and dark with anger. For me, these stories remain timeless and have hidden messages for the listener. We must look beyond the story and hear the meanings. Perhaps one might see that not sharing could have serious consequences. Such is the story for the old chief in not sharing his wondrous gifts with the people of the world. Because of the raven's curiosity he changes the outcome and, in turn, becomes the hero of the story. The gift of seeing through the darkness can be taken many ways too. Perhaps the raven is more aware of the elements than we might have thought him to be. Growing up in the back woods, not seeing or being a part of the city life at an early age has had an impact on the way I feel about how we live. I look forward to making trips into the woods, walking along rivers' edge and climbing over old, deadfalls, and foraging for materials I may need for sculptures I create. Often I find ravens' feathers in certain areas of the wood and use them sparingly in my work. When I was a small child my great uncle Taylor McGundy would tell me not to bother the ravens that often found their way to our camps. The dogs often got their share of teasing and food stolen by the big black birds paired off like a tag team event." - Mark Preston "This print is one in a set of four designed in the style of bentwood box painting." Statement provided by Vincent Rickard, Pacific Editions.