AP Edition 3/3
In James Hart's original cedar sculpture, the Shaman Figure stands at the front of the dance screen, on top of a Haida house holding a rattle.
Shamans held secular and supernatural authorities and, in this scene, ensures the cyclical return of the salmon. This Shaman Figure has been cast in bronze at the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry in New York, USA. Notably, this is the foundry where all of Bill Reid's large bronze castings were produced. The Shaman Figure by James Hart was first executed in red cedar as part of The Dance Screen (The Scream Too) - a large-scale, ambitious, and masterful sculptural work on display at The Audain Art Museum in Whistler.
Chief James Hart has a distinguished career as a master carver. He worked alongside artists Robert Davidson and Bill Reid, and has developed a practice recognized internationally. Dance screens were traditionally used as backdrops at Haida ceremonial dances. Hart's work evokes the vital relationship between humans and the natural world. It brings together many different creatures featured in traditional Haida stories, especially those that rely on salmon for their survival.