Project Description

Raven and First Men, by Ben Davidson

Raven symbolizes the unknown, wholeness, knowledge, foresight and has the power to clarify visions. He makes you aware of different perceptions and the subtlety of the truth. Everybody has their own truth. 

In most Northwest coast stories Raven is intelligent, curious, ahead of its time and resourceful, yet selfish, greedy and deceitful. Raven is called a joker, a trickster or even a thief. He follows his own satisfaction of needs, and gets himself often in trouble. But difficult situations ensure that he is at his creative best – stumbling on great things. It is said Raven brought Sun, Moon, Stars (fire and water) and humankind to the world.

This cast visualizes the Haida legend of the discovery of the first humans. The story goes like this: Raven is all alone on Rose Spirit Beach on the Canadian archipelago, Haida Gwaii. Suddenly he sees an extraordinary clamshell on the beach. There are small creatures sticking out of this shell and he coaxes them to join him in his wonderful world. These are the first Haida people; the beginning of Humankind as they know it.

For us, Raven is about perception – how you experience ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It can indicate a need for wholeness and acceptance. You don’t have to deny parts of yourself. Even assumed ‘bad’ traits can lead to ‘good’ things. 

It is in the eye of the beholder. You are your own beholder – you are the maker of your own truth. 

Medium Sculpture
Year 2019
Dimensions (w-d-h) 122 – 8 cm
Material Forton with patina Finish
Serial number 5 / 7
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About the artist

Ben Davidson (1976 – 2020) was a Haida artist who used his traditional knowledge of Haida design to create innovative and unique contemporary pieces which are sought after by discerning collectors around the world. Although he specialized in wood sculptures and jewelry, Ben also created two-dimensional designs and was interested in exploring new techniques.

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Carl Stromquist

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