Blown, Fused and Cast Glass

51″ high with bronze vines not pictured.

Glass created in collaboration with Richard Royal (Non-Indigenous) at the Benjamin Moore Studio.

Transporter is a contemporary re-imagining of the Quinault spirit boards, an ancient ceremonial tool used by shamans. The “Transporter” series represents some of Marvin Oliver’s, most personal interpretations of ancient and sacred ceremonial objects. Spirit Boards played a vital role in the traditional Quinault Shamanic Healing Ceremony. Carved and adorned with personal imagery, the Spirit Board, its blade planted firmly into the earth, would stand erect in front of the Shaman. The powers contained within the board helped the shaman to navigate or travel to the world of loss and missing souls. Once there the Shaman hoped to find the missing souls of his stricken patients, then retrieve and reunite patient and soul.

Healing by Shamans was a fundamental aspect of life among the tribes of the Pacific Northwest Coast. Because of this importance, it was quickly and severely suppressed by church and government institutions. Tragically, this censorship resulted in much sacred knowledge being lost.

Oliver’s sculptures joyously bring forth the powerful images and ideas of the past and honor their clarion call to teach each generation the traditions, rituals and values of culture utilizing the materials and technologies of each new age.

Excerpted from Marvin Oliver’s statement on the Transporter series:

“I like using “Ravens” because of their awe- inspiring mythical connection to past, present and future”.  The circles represent universal shapes and forms that resemble a continuous field.  “I like the circle because it is continuous with no beginning or end and no corners to confuse us”.  The large faces that appear in the background are called “ghosts”.  The ghosts peer through time ever watching ….protectors or past , present and future.  The “dark side” of the Transporter represents the “unknown” , not bad just unknown.   This is where Raven lives.  He can see through darkness.  The “light side” is our field of reality which beckons for universal truths such as honesty and respect, for ourselves and others either living or dead.  Like a drop of water or a pebble on the riverbank … both have significance within our lives.”