Nell Mary Bradshaw - Old Haida Poles

  • Old Haida Poles
  • Oil on Board
  • 16 x 12 in
  • circa 1970
  • Sold
  • Loch Gallery, Calgary

signed, titled and inscribed on verso 'pole on the right - Beaver Totem of Ninstints Anthony Island of Queen Charlotte Islands'

Primarily a self-taught artist, Nell Bradshaw also took classes from H.G. Glyde and Molly Lamb Bobak at the Victoria Art Gallery, and received additional instruction from Duncan de Kergommeaux and Herbert Seibner. Her early work was influenced by the Group of Seven, and in particular by the work of A.Y. Jackson and Tom Thomson. Later she received inspiration from the work of Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, Jack Shadbolt and West Coast First Nations carvers. In 1964, after the death of her husband, she devoted herself to painting on a full-time basis. Interested in recording Haida culture, Bradshaw made several trips to the Queen Charlotte Islands in the 1970s. Her totem paintings became well known worldwide, and British Columbia provincial anthropologist Wilson Duff considered her totem works to be of the highest calibre. Humphrey Davy, in the Victoria Times in 1964, said of her totem paintings that, "she draws them as they are today; weather beaten, decaying and ready to topple over...but what lifts her paintings above the ordinary, is the feeling and mood she gives to her pictures. Sometimes the mood is almost tragic because it brings to the fore the passing of a glorious age of native culture." After living in Victoria, BC since the 1960s, Nell Bradshaw passed away in 1997 at the age of 93.

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