Tags:Alaska, Carved Mask, Hummingbird, Inupiaq, Yup'ik
EXHIBITION:Unmasked: A Group Exhibition
Price will be exchanged into US dollars on the day of purchase.
Dimensions of Andy: 30.5″ high x 12.5″ wide x 9″ deep
Dimensions of Anna: 29.5″ high x 12.5″ wide x 9.5″ deep
In the mind of artist Drew Michael, hummingbirds transform into extraplanar messengers between our world and the spirit world, relaying communications back and forth with the whip-like speed of their wings and the high pitch chittering of their tiny beaks. Drew first began receiving visits from a pair of Anna’s Hummingbirds in his garden several years back. The male that would frequent his garden was likely a few years old when it became an emboldened familiar guest. As their visitations became more and more frequent, Drew felt that he started to understand these little birds through observation. Sometimes the little hummingbird, who he lovingly dubbed ‘Andy,’ would fly up into his face almost as if to say “Hello! Time to change my water, I’d like to be fed now!” Drew observed the birds over the course of multiple passing seasons until, one day, he stumbled upon the same male that had usually been so lively. Andy was now lethargic and injured after a difficult winter. Though sad to see his hummingbird friend pass on, Drew joyfully discovered in the following season that Andy’s babies had found their way into his garden, just as Andy and Anna had done so long ago. Just as the wings of a hummingbird beating can resemble an infinity loop, the passing of life onward through generations of visiting hummingbirds represents the continuation of life through ancestry and birth. Hummingbirds are thought to be messengers from the spirit world, and with each visit by his resident hummingbirds, Drew felt closer to those he has loved and lost. It was this cycle of life and his appreciation of all lives, large and small, that inspired these hummingbird masks. The faces carved within the hummingbird masks are meant to symbolize transition between both realms, between hummingbird and human, and between those lost and those still living. Through these masks, Drew Michael pays homage to Mother Nature and the messages she is sending to us and invites you to consider what nature around you is saying to you. Take a moment to step back and truly listen to all the voices of the animals surrounding you the next time you are in nature. What are they saying? Are you listening?