Dogfish Basket – Collaboration with Robin Rorick
EXHIBITION:Tradition Keepers: A Women’s Exhibition
This collaboration is between mother and son: Isabel wove the basket from spruce roots, and her son, Robin, carefully painted it.
Isabel Rorick is widely considered the finest living spruce root weaver on the Coast, continuing the tradition of weaving exquisitely fine hats and baskets. Her paternal grandmother, Selina Peratrovich, taught her to weave spruce root baskets from materials they had gathered at Masset. Isabel deeply respects the fact that ‘Auntie’ Dolores Churchill has been her mentor, and feels proud and fortunate to have learned from ‘Nonny’ Selina, who was so important to her. It was only after Selina passed that Isabel realized Selina had been the last active spruce root weaver of her generation.
Robin Rorick was raised on Haida Gwaii and on Hornby Island, BC, and has taken up the mantle of his heritage. A carver of great elegance and refinement, his work has the tension, flow and dynamism of the Haida masters. He has recently been mentored by Robert Davidson in the method of painting on woven spruce root.
Isabel is the great-granddaughter of the great turn-of-the-century Haida artists Isabella and Charles Edenshaw. She and Robin have dived deep into their family roots to research and understand the magnificent processes behind the Edenshaws’ famed woven and painted objects. Isabel has spent most of her adult life studying Isabella’s woven works in museum collections. The 2013 Vancouver Art Gallery “Charles Edenshaw” exhibit was a muse for her son, Robin Rorick, steering him towards the decision to paint his mother’s weavings.