Tuesday September 27 at 7 pm in the Tumbler Ridge Public Library, the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation, Library and Circle of Friendship are hosting a unique evening. Michael Blackstock will be speaking about the Tumbler Ridge Tree Carving and other western Canadian First Nations tree art. Michael is the acknowledged expert on this topic, and his first book, ?Faces in the Forest ? First Nations Art Created on Living Trees?, deals extensively with this subject (copies will be available for purchase and signing).
Michael is also known for his art and poetry, and will read some poems from his second book, ?Salmon Run: A Florilegium of Aboriginal Ecological Poetry?. Michael is a member of the Gitxsan Nation (near Hazelton) and grew up in a family that celebrated tree art. He studied his Master of Arts in First Nations Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George. He currently works for the Ministry of Forests and is a mediator.
Michael came to Tumbler Ridge at the invitation of the Museum Foundation in August 2005 to view the tree carving in person for the first time; he had previously examined photos of it and featured it in his book. He recognized it as a wonderful work of art, and will address possible ways of dating it in his talk.
This tree was unfortunately cut down near Tumbler Ridge in the early 1980s, but the carving was salvaged and spent some time in Simon Fraser University and then the Fort St John ? North Peace Museum before being transferred back to Tumbler Ridge in 2003. It is sensitively and respectfully displayed in the Community Centre, where its penetrating gaze can?t help but awe viewers, and cool fluorescent lighting and relatively constant temperature and humidity help prevent further damage.
Refreshments will be served. Please consider joining us for what promises to be a fascinating evening with Michael Blackstock.