Haida weaver wins three titles at Sealaska juried art show

Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle is pictured in this submitted photo. Liddle won three titles at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle is pictured in this submitted photo. Liddle won three titles at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)
The imitation abalone hat made by Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle that won the weaving and basketry division and category, respectively, at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition is pictured in this submitted photo. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)The imitation abalone hat made by Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle that won the weaving and basketry division and category, respectively, at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition is pictured in this submitted photo. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)
The small spruce root basket made by Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle that won the endangered art division at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition is pictured in this submitted photo. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)The small spruce root basket made by Haida weaver Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle that won the endangered art division at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition is pictured in this submitted photo. (Haida Cedar Bark Weaver - Traditional and Contemporary/Facebook photo)

A Haida weaver has won three titles at the Sealaska Heritage Institute 10th Biennial Northwest Coast Juried Art Show and Competition.

Stlaaygee X_ay Guul Kun K_ayangas Marlene Liddle, who is based in Old Massett, took home a total of US$1,700 for her wins in the endangered art division, for her small spruce root basket, as well as the weaving and basketry division and category, respectively, for her imitation abalone hat.

Liddle told the Observer that while she had previously attended the four-day dance-and-culture celebration that accompanies the event showcasing Northwest Coast native art as a vendor, this was the first time she had entered the juried art show and competition itself.

The celebration as well as the art show and competition are normally held in Juneau, hosted by the Sealaska Heritage Institute, however, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the institute decided to host the show online this year for the first time ever. The broadcast of the virtual celebration began on June 10.

Liddle said the show and competition also marked another first for her — the first spruce root basket she made since learning how to weave in 2007.

ALSO READ: Canada says B.C. Indigenous basket making an event of historic significance

After she moved back home to Haida Gwaii in 2000, she started harvesting cedar for elders.

“I just loved being outdoors and the fun we’d have as a group,” she remembers.

Then in 2007 her mentor Christine Carty offered to teach her how to weave.

She remembers starting to weave a hat out of yellow cedar and because she was often out of town, it took her almost a year to complete it.

“My aunties were telling me they were going to have a birthday party for the hat,” she said, adding that the joke lit a fire inside of her.

Since then she has made more than 230 pieces while also working full-time at the Haida Enterprise Corporation (HaiCO), mostly hats made of red and yellow cedar that she helps gather herself, including traditional styles as well as contemporary ones such as cowboy hats and fedoras.

ALSO READ: Weaving Joy show open at Skidegate museum

Last summer Liddle started gathering spruce root with direction from her aunty Merle Anderson, around rivers where there is erosion happening and on beaches where there are spruce trees around.

Then over the winter she prepared some of the roots and made the winning basket, which is only about 3.5 inches tall.

Liddle said she wanted to challenge herself right from the get-go to weave a small, intricate basket.

A juror comment on the Sealaska website said that for a first basket, Liddle made “an outstanding effort.”

“Roots split evenly, and irregularities in the shape of the basket are kept to a minimum,” the juror commented. “Really nice work. I look forward to seeing more from a very well-taught student.”

While the spruce root basket is not for sale, since it was the first one Liddle made and she wants to keep it in her family, the winning imitation abalone hat is available for purchase.

Liddle said she uses a secret, five-stage process to prepare to weave her imitation abalone hats, and also keeps her source for the imitation abalone product under wraps.

A juror comment on the Sealaska website described the hat as “beautifully woven with the stunning addition of the abalone strips.”

“The use of abalone to embellish basketry hats is not new, but having it covering the entire surface of the hat is quite modern,” the juror said.

“I like the two lines of plain twining, breaking up the abalone into three sections. Even little details like this can mean a lot.”

The juror added that breaking up the design field into small sections was “a very Haida way” of doing basketry design, because Liddle did “a lot with simple lines and shapes.”

ALSO READ: Haida artists recognized by YVR

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ArtOld Massett

Just Posted

“Skeena,” by John Hudson and Paul Hanslow is one of five fonts in the running to become the default for Microsoft systems and Office programs. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Font named after Skeena River could become the next Microsoft default

One of the five new fonts will replace Calibri, which has been Microsoft’s default since 2007

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

People shop in Chinatown in Vancouver on Friday, February 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver community leaders call for action following 717% rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

‘The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate in Canada and south of the border shows Asians have not been fully accepted in North America,’ says Carol Lee

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

Most Read