Morris Sutherland (Moy) is from Ahousaht, within the Nuu-chah-nulth territories on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. As a young man he worked in the forests of British Columbia and grew up close to the art and culture of the Nuu-chah-nulth. His culture continues to inspire his art.
In 1995, Sutherland began his artistic career in Alert Bay, learning the principals of carving from carver Joe Wilson. After mastering some basic techniques, he moved home to learn more about the Nuu-chah-nulth style from Mark Mickey in Port Alberni.
In 1997 Sutherland worked in Sooke, BC with Kwakwaka'wakw artist Carey Newman to learn the basics of jewelry making. In 2000 he began an apprenticeship with world-renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Art Thompson, continuing to work together until Art’s death in 2003. Their partnership furthered his understanding of carving, jewellery making, totem pole carving, bentwood box making, sculpture, articulating masks, and Nuu-chah-nulth design structure. More importantly, he also learned the cultural significance of the carvings that he was creating.
Sutherland benefits from having learned from both Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth artists. These experiences have broadened his understanding of all Northwest Coast Native art forms. Sutherland is very careful to stay within the traditional rules and values of his culture, however he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists through exploration of different media, such as gem setting in gold and silver and silkscreen prints. He has also produced large scale works in stone and totem poles and canoes.