Project Description

Moon Panel, by Steve Smith

Moon symbolizes great power. Moon is the protector and guardian of earth. Its spirit watches over us and can change tides (our moods). It is associated with transformation and illuminates the dark. 

In 2013 Steve underwent a life-threatening heart surgery. This art piece is a reflection of his experience. It is about the moment he awoke from surgery, knowing he had survived – was given another chance “the awakening from the dream.” He found himself cascading through a torrent of emotions that altered his adherence to tradition and rules of Oweekeno that he had lived under.

When he “awoke” he was invigorated by the beauty and warmth that surrounded him. This emotional and spiritual challenge has resulted in a magnificent perspective on traditional and contemporary indigenous artwork. He plays with color and form in ways that allow him to powerfully bridge the gap between ancient tradition and modern art.

For us, in this sense Moon is about the need for empowerment. To go your own way, but also embrace the past. Perhaps it is time to dive in your own wisdom and intuition. Challenge yourself to make the journey inwards. Honor your roots and walk your own way. 

Medium Sculpture
Year 2018
Dimensions (w-d-h) 91 – 91 – 4 cm
Material Red cedar, acrylic paint
Serial number Original one of a kind hand carved
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About the artist

Steve Smith (Dla’kwagila) (1968) was born in Oweekeno Village in Campbell River, B.C. In 1987, Steve was introduced to both carving and painting by his late father, Kwakwaka’wakw artist Harris Smith (Lalkawilas). Their collaborative effort produced unique sculptures in basswood, yellow cedar and alder. Smith Steve has also worked with his brother, established Kwakwaka’wakw artist Rod Smith.

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Carl Stromquist

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