Canadian Artist Audrey Nanimahoo
Audrey Nanimahoo was born into the Cree Nation in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. As a small child Audrey had a passion to draw and sketch, mainly horses and faces. Then in early 2000 Nanimahoo began painting with acrylic paints, she would paint folk art designs on stone and wood. This eventually led to carving the wood, making painted designs. A form of wood art which has small pieces of wood cut from different species of wood, then contoured and glued together to form a two dimensional form.
Audrey T. Nanimahoo has lived in the spectacular Selkirk and Monashee mountains of Revelstoke, British Columbia for the past twelve years. Both Audrey and her husband share a passion for backcountry exploration. In 2002 they came across a deposit of unusual green soapstone. They tried to sell the stone through their landscaping company, but had no luck. Something within the stone called to Audrey to carve the stone. The stone responded by giving up the secrets locked within. 'I believe that certain things are meant to be, I was guided to find this talent within myself and release it.'
Audrey loves to create carvings of bears, faces, wild animals, and spiritual native themes. She sees an image in the stone and releases it. 'I love the feel of the stone and I get almost in a trance. When I see an image in the stone I can not stop until I see the master piece finished to perfection' Audrey works primarily in Soapstone, Serpentine, and Marble.
Her visions in stone are bringing Nanimahoo fame and recognition as a sculptor, including fist place award in a Kootenay Regional Arts Festival, held a three-day show at the Hotel Vancouver and a solo exhibition called 'Faces in stone' in Revelstoke, B.C. In Oct 2004, she was invited to attend the Bragg Creek show called Dale Auger and Friend, a premiere First Nation Art event.
Audrey's Sculptures are sought by private collectors around the world. Her pieces can be found in collections in England, Germany, Bolivia, Texas, Canada, and worldwide. One of her sculptures was given as a gift from the City Of Revelstoke, to the premier of British Columbia. A donation was also given, called 'Tender Love' to the Cancer Society for the 8th annual Diamond Ball Gala, which was held at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Audrey Nanimahoo's work is sold from her privately owned galleries in Revelstoke British Columbia Canada.
The 'GREAT SPRIRIT' That Guides
I knew I found my calling in life when the first time that I picked up a piece of stone and began to carve the surface of it. There was something far beyond what I could explain. Something told me that the 'Creator' had given me my gift for it felt right and it felt powerful. I will cherish, and be eternally grateful for this gift that was given so freely.
That feeling has never left me, when I begin to carve, it's like the 'Creator' is continuing to guide me. My openness ' my focus ' is almost like a trance I listen to what the stone is saying to me, not in words, but with images that shows me what to carve and where. In this manner, I create unique and original works of art.
I get a feeling of overwhelming happiness and excitement when a piece is finished. Then, I can see that I am bringing each piece of stone to life' as though it will soon breathe on its own.
I carve what I see and what I sense. It is life-giving to me and my heritage, but most of all; it gives expression to each piece of art, as though it has gained its own spirit, its own life.
"We currently get our stone from our own Revelstoke Quarry, in our quarry there are three different types of stone. Soft, med, hard. The soft stone is soapstone it is the dark and light green it can be carved using hand tools, the med is what we call kuukoom stone and it is the more brown and mottled color you need power tools to carve it. The proper name for it is called calcium carbonate stone. Basically the soft stone and the hard stone mixed together with a bit of hard marble..which makes sanding a bit of a challenge. The third stone is what we know to be serpentine. It is dark green and almost looks black. Its super hard and you need diamond blades to cut it. But the end result is amazing!"
To see more of Audrey Nanimahoo's incredible soapstone carvings, please go to her website!
Nanimahoo Native Art Gallery
4154 Malakwa RD. Malakwa
British Columbia V0E 2J0
Tel: (250) 836-3991 Cell: (250) 814-3658
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.audreynanimahoo.com
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