John Marston is a Coast Salish carver.
He comes from a family of carvers.
Both his parents, David and Jane, are carvers, as is his brother, Luke whom we featured in my Newsletter – Delicioso.
John started carving when he was eight old, learning from his parents.
He was mentored by the Coast Salish carver Simon Charlie – teaching him about the legends of his people.
John’s carvings and understanding of Coast Salish art, were honed while working as a volunteer for four years at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia.
In his fifth year he became the museum’s resident carver.
John respects and incorporates many Coast Salish design elements and traditions in his art but also often refines them through his imagination.
Coast Salish design is simple, straightforward and uses circles, ovals, crescents, and John is a master at it.
His wood carvings fall into two categories – plain (letting the beauty of the wood and the carvings speak for themselves), coloured (applying different colours to amplify the carvings).
John’s Carvings – No Colour
John’s Carvings – Using Colour
John describes the approach to his art:
“The process now is not about recreating, but re-examining older work. Some of the artwork I do is still based on legend and historical teaching, but not all of it. Some is modern concepts or emotional expression — the process is traditional.”
In 2009 he received the British Columbia Creative Achievement Award for Aboriginal Art.
His work is part of public and private collections worldwide and is exhibited at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, at the Vancouver International Airport and the Vancouver Convention Centre.
“I am inspired by the lives of my Ancestors and the lives of our people today. I am part of an ancient tradition that continues to evolve and grow, this fills my heart with joy. Carving the pieces in this collection has been a great honor for me. The title claims to Honor our Coast Salish ancestors and I believe there are many different Salish traditions that do this.”
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