Jim Hart totem travels to Ottawa

  • Nov. 7, 2011 3:00 p.m.

A work by Old Massett artist Jim Hart is being installed at a site in Ottawa this week, in preparation for its official unveiling early next month.The bronze watchmen totem pole, about 14 feet high, is being placed outside the National Gallery of Canada. Mr. Hart will be in Ottawa December 10 for the official unveiling, but the pole had to be installed before the ground froze. The piece had been on display in Quilchena Park in Vancouver and was donated by Michael Audain, an avid art collector in the Lower Mainland.The pole was installed in a traffic island along Sussex Drive, an area which draws thousands of pedestrians and vehicles daily. The location is quite appropriate according to the National Gallery, as the watchmen figures look out for danger from both the supernatural and the every-day world and are often incorporated by the Haida on house totems. Mr. Hart (Chief Edunsew) has been carving since 1979 and is one of the most accomplished artists in BC.He’s known as a pioneer among Haida artists in the use of bronze.