Spirit Bear/Raven Spirit Canoe

Juniper, Pigments, Metal Base


Light and Dark

Spirit Canoes are a balance of two animals. A balance of two energies. The real important part of the spirit canoe is not the two creatures, but the space in the middle where they come together. When Hib Sabin was creating this exhibit on Dark and Light, he knew that Raven and the Spirit Bear had to be placed together. Raven is a trickster and a creator. He is feminine and masculine; he is yin and yang. Similarly, the spirit bear is merely a white phase of the black bear and it lives on only three islands off the coast of Vancouver Island. The First Nation people call this bear, Kermode, and they call this white version of the black bear, a Spirit Bear.  These black and white figures confronting each other remind us that black is not all black and that white is not all white. It is mixed together and that space in the middle of the spirit canoe hold that capacity for that coming together.