- Joe Wilson
- Edition Size:
- 170 signed and numbered, 17 artist's proofs, 2 printer's proofs
- Paper Size:
- 38 x 55 cm, 15 x 21.5 inches
- Publication Year:
Joe Wilson's limited edition print Bear Mother and Cub was inspired by his love of family. The cub's expression reminds him of his daughter and the love and joy she has brought into his life.
In nature, the bond between a mother bear and her cubs is incredibly strong. She alone will nurture and protect her offspring. Mother bears will stay with their cubs for about a year and a half, teaching them all the skills they need to survive on their own.
Vancouver Island, where Joe resides, is home to the densest population of black bears anywhere in the world. Except for the Northern tip of the island, where Grizzlies can be found, the black bear is the only bear that resides on the island. Sightings of these bears are common along the shoreline, and they can sometimes be spotted swimming between smaller islands.
In American Native cultures, bears stand for courage, strength, resourcefulness, wisdom and intuition. Because of their strength and fierceness, they are the protectors, guardians and helping spirits of warriors.
Joe Wilson is a Coast Salish artist who was born in 1967, and raised at Koksilah near the small city of Duncan on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. His keen interest in native art began at the tender age of 12 whilst watching his stepfather, Johnny Sampson, design and carve beautiful native artworks. However, fierce competition with his younger brother, Rick, motivated Joe to take his artistry seriously: “That’s when I frustratingly started really applying myself. Even back then I had it in my heart to be one of the best out there in our field [Coast Salish Territory] and I did it.”
At the young age of 17, Joe began producing and marketing his various Aboriginal paintings and carvings within the local region. Since then, he has apprenticed under master carvers such as the late Simon Charlie and Coast Salish artist Charles Elliott, and studied under Nuu-Chah-nulth master carver Tim Paul at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Joe has studied northwest coast native art extensively and has emerged as one of the most prolific Coast Salish artists today.
A soft-spoken man, Joe’s northwest coast Native art speaks of confidence and strength and has a unique and original style. His colours are bold and unconventional, yet extremely appealing and rich.