An artist from the Stz’uminus First Nation is behind the design for this season’s Vancouver Canucks purpose masks, rectifying an earlier controversy across the masks’s design.
Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby revealed a brand new customized goalie masks in December that includes Coast Salish-inspired paintings.
However, the masks was designed by a non-Indigenous artist from Sweden, David Gunnarsson, who didn’t have consent to make use of the Indigenous design — a reproduction of the Thunderbird on the Stanley Park totem pole initially designed by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Tony Hunt Sr.
The design instantly raised considerations about cultural appropriation, and Holtby apologized for any offence induced.
Luke Marston, a Coast Salish artist and member of the Stz’uminus First Nation, watched the controversy unfold on-line.
“I was excited to see First Nations art on there — I think most people were — but just the way they executed it wasn’t so cool,” Marston stated. “It was more than just appropriation. It was copyright, too.”
Marston, nevertheless, believed that their intentions have been in the correct place and was prepared to assist. He texted Francesco Aquilini, the proprietor of the Vancouver Canucks, whose quantity he had as a result of Aquilini had bought artwork from Marston earlier than.
“I got a hold of [goaltender] Braden [Holtby]. We talked for a while … He felt really bad about the whole thing. He wanted to see if he could fix it in any which way. And then he was telling me that David Gunnarsson — he’s the main guy who pretty much does all the goalie masks of all the NHL — felt really bad, too.”
A collaboration was fashioned.
Marston informed Holtby some Coast Salish tales. The one Holtby favored finest, Marston stated, was the legend of wolves remodeling into orcas to hunt on land and sea.
“He really liked that, and it fit for the Canucks being on the hunt this year,” he stated.
The new masks design options an orca on one cheek and a wolf on the opposite, mid-transformation. Gunnarsson painted the brand and Holtby’s quantity on the highest and chin.
Marston, who sometimes works with wooden or bronze, discovered adapting to the medium of a plastic masks pretty simple.
“[The goalie mask] is shaped well to our art form. First Nations art can be adapted to really anything, but with the mask culture that we do and the masks that we carve, it really leant itself really easily to the art form,” he stated.
The masks has since gone backwards and forwards between Marston and Gunnarsson in Sweden. It is at present with hockey gear big Bauer, the place specialists are including padding and straps.
Marston expects the masks will debut at Saturday’s Canucks recreation.
He says the chance to rectify the scenario was optimistic.
“It’s just respecting one another, respecting one another’s culture and other people’s intentions,” he stated.
Listen to the interview with Luke Marston on CBC’s All Points West:
All Points West7:14A Stz’uminus First Nation artist helps design new masks for Vancouver Canucks goalie