Who was Bill Reid?

Perspectives on Bill Reid

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Dr. Martine Reid
"He was himself deeply carved"

Bill discovered that one of the very important principles of any good work of art in Haida aesthetics is that, especially when you're looking at a piece of jewelry or carving, it has to be deeply carved, as opposed to the superficially scratched. And deeply carved, I think for Bill, became a moral imperative, it became a way of showing his respect to his ancestors who were inspiring him. And I think at the end of his life he was himself deeply carved, because he had followed the pathways of his ancestors. How often he said, “When I'm at my workbench I am trying to put myself in the skin of my ancestors to see what they would do with my technology.”

Dr. Martine Reid, independent scholar, author and curator, interviewed at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, 2008.