Bill Henderson, Master Carver

MOON MASK
MOON MASK
BIH047
red cedar, abalone
30 x 30 x 8 in.
$8,800 CAD


SUN MASK
SUN MASK
BIH045
yellow cedar, acrylic
48 x 48 x 8 in.
$10,400 CAD
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KILLER WHALE PANEL
KILLER WHALE PANEL
BIH044
yellow cedar, polychrome
22 x 38 x 3 in.
$4,800 CAD


EAGLE PADDLE
EAGLE PADDLE
BIH041
yellow cedar, polychrome
62 x 9 x 1 in.
$2,800 CAD


KILLER WHALE PADDLE
KILLER WHALE PADDLE
BIH037
yellow cedar, polychrome
62 x 9 x 1 in.
$2,800 CAD


BEAR PADDLE
BEAR PADDLE
BIH035
yellow cedar, acrylic
61.75 x 8.25 x 5 in.
$2,800 CAD


WOLF PADDLE
WOLF PADDLE
BIH034
yellow cedar, acrylic
62.25 x 8.75 x 5 in.
$2,800 CAD


RAVEN PADDLE
RAVEN PADDLE
BIH031
yellow cedar, acrylic
62 x 9 x 7 in.
$2,800 CAD


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Bill Henderson, Master Carver

Bill was born into the Weiwaikum tribe in 1950, one of nine sons of the late Chief Sam Henderson(1905 - 1982) and his wife May Quocksister Henderson. As a child, Bill learned the ways of an artist by watching his father, a self-taught carver. Sam and May Henderson are well remembered as protectors of ancient customs, and they instilled in all their children respect for their cultural heritage.

At age seven, Bill carved a little whale plaque for his Grade 1 teacher; it is still proudly displayed at Campbellton School. Young Bill would draw and paint stylized figures from Kwakwaka'wakw mythology on pieces of left over plywood in his father's shed - a shed he has carved in now for nearly half a century.

In his late teens, Bill took up carving more seriously and at 19 he began to sell his work. Since then, he has honed his skills while preserving the family's traditional style in carvings, dance masks, paddles, bowls and plaques. While he was always drawn to painting and the culture of carving, Bill never dreamed that his work would become sought after in a global marketplace.

A professional Native dancer, Bill performs at numerous potlatches and ceremonies. The symbolism of the mystic character he portrays in dance can be seen in his art, be it the Crooked Beak of Heaven, the Grizzly Bear, or the Sea Monster. The dance "Hunter of the Woods" was given to Bill by his father during a potlatch; it belongs to him alone.

Using methods handed down through time, Bill still fashions his own tools; blades from old net fishing knives are bent, tempered, sharpened and then attached to cedar handles with fishing twine.

Bill works to capture natural and supernatural figures in his work; legend and history are infused into each carving. In crafting eagles, bears and his killer whales, he depicts how the resources of air, land and sea were important and life-giving to his people.

(excerpts from "Totem Legend" by Christine Scott)

Born on March 21, 1950 in Campbell River, BC. Nationality is Canadian

Exhibitions

2017 CANADA 150, Canada House Gallery, Banff, AB

Collections

The Museum at Campbell River, BC
Kwagiulth Museum and Cultural Centre, Quadra Island, BC
City Hall, Ishikari, Japan

Teaching

Mentor to his nephews, Junior and Greg Henderson