Vancouver, BC – Roy Henry Vickers, one of Canada’s most-lauded artists, launches his largest-ever collection of new prints at a public gallery and storytelling event on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from 10:30am to 4pm, at Vancouver’s iconic Waterfall Building. The creations on display were inspired by Raven Brings the Light – a highly anticipated book co-authored by Vickers and historian Robert Budd – telling the legend of how Raven brought light to the world.
“This story belongs to the people of the Northwest Coast, where is has been passed from generation to generation for thousands of years,” said Vickers. “It is a great joy for me to share this in a new way. I hope through this story, thousands more will discover and understand this important piece of our culture.”
The April event marks Vickers’ first time unveiling a new collection in the city since The Vancouver Series in 1988. The day promises to be rich in significance, cultural exploration, and artistry. Throughout the celebration visitors may view the striking works, read copies of the book, meet Vickers himself, and enjoy a family-friendly telling of Raven Brings the Light. Collectors and the public will have the opportunity to purchase signed books and one or all of the 12 limited edition fine art prints.
Vickers’ contributions to Canada’s First Nations and artistic communities are widely celebrated. He has received a hereditary chieftainship and several hereditary names from a number of Northwest Coast First Nations, as well as numerous awards including the Order of Canada. His works can be found hanging in the Museum of Anthropology, the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, YVR International Airport, as well as in Eagle Aerie Gallery, his personal gallery in Tofino.
His artwork is a carefully crafted fusion of traditional and contemporary, with layers of history and myth within his clean, sharp images. As such, he is uniquely placed to share the story of Raven with peoples throughout the world. With Raven Brings the Light, Vickers retells a Northwest Coast legend, traced back more than three millennia by archaeologists. In a time when darkness covered the land, the story goes, a boy named Weget turns into a raven and flies from Haida Gwaii into the sky. There, he tricks the Chief of the Heavens and manages to bring the sun– kept in a box – to the Earth. While the story is ubiquitous across British Columbia, this particular version originates from Chester Bolton, Chief of the Ravens, who told it to Vickers in Kitkatla in 1975. Vickers has since recounted the story to thousands of eager listeners. One such listener is historian and co-author Robert Budd, who first started working with Vickers to document his memoirs. Budd has built a career on sharing stories. His first book, Voices of British Columbia, quickly became a bestseller. During lengthy discussions for the artist’s memoir, the current project was born.
“In essence, my work as a documenter and author is to sustain important stories from individuals and cultures,” said Budd. “When Roy first told me the story of Raven Brings the Light, I knew it was something special that needed to be shared. I feel deeply honoured to help further this tale and help bring it to new life through Roy’s striking art.”
Raven Brings the Light [ISBN 978-1-55017-593-6] is published by Harbour PublishinG and released on April 6, 2013. The book contains 20 colour illustrations by Roy Henry Vickers, including 19 new pieces.