Who was Bill Reid?

Perspectives on Bill Reid

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Dr. Martine Reid
"He let the story happen from inside"

Bill would take sometimes nine months to make a piece -- it looks like it takes nine months to make anything worthwhile. But when he started with her, a small piece of boxwood, you he realized that, and this is only then, after he had finished her, that he said, hmmm, she's fine but she's a little bit lonely. And then he sliced another piece of boxwood and then carved her body, and then naturally underneath, the face of her alter ego, the shark, is taking its place. So what was important in this work, that he, his approach was not external saying, "well here is the story I am going to illustrate or represent that story". He let the story happen from inside, and so the whole creative process was like that. Which also shows how imbued he was with the mythology. He lived it as opposed to just illustrating it.

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