“Out of Concealment: Haida Female Supernatural Beings”

“Out of Concealment: Haida Female Supernatural Beings” is an exhibit showcased at the Haida Gwaii Museum from June 2017 to December 31, 2017.

This dynamic project is a three-dimensional storytelling installation that encompasses photos, music, sound and dialogue. 

‘Out of Concealment’ is the translation of the original name for Haida Gwaii, referring to Raven, the trickster, taking the islands of Haida Gwaii out of concealment of the realm of the supernatural beings to share with humanity.

The concept of this exhibition is to convey origin and oral traditions from the Haida Nation about female supernatural beings.  Passed on from generation to generation through oral tradition, these are important narratives that illustrate the Nation’s laws, values, customs, rituals and relationships with earthly and metaphysical realms. Click here to download the exhibit catalogue.

 
 

”Conceptually, I want to capture these Beings as they might be, unguarded, basking in the beauty of their surroundings, basking in who they are – unguarded moments of sensuality.
That is our challenge today – to fully embrace who we are and where we’ve been to get to our destination, and our new state of transformation.”
— Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson
Laa.a Jaad (Fine Weather Woman)

Laa.a Jaad (Fine Weather Woman)

The exhibit consists of 34 images, (2 of which will be rendered in video presentations, 1 on a silk panel and 2 in LED Light boxes), plus 10 portraits of the larger oral history montages. Three images will have motion-sensors to trigger new compositions of songs associated with three of the Supernatural Beings. One of the videos will illustrate an oral history and will include another new composition (performed with Bill Henderson and Claire Lawrence); the second video will depict a transformation and will have an archival song of Terri-Lynn's great grandmother and her contemporaries singing. The new compositions will all be included in Terri-Lynn's new album.

The sharing of oral traditions and 'Story-telling' is an art form specific to Indigenous Peoples - this exhibit integrates contemporary technology and ideas to bring ancient narratives of the supernatural into a modern context.

“Out of Concealment” aims to help people – both within the Haida Nation and the general public – to see the feminine and powerful land and seascapes of Haida Gwaii through a worldview where the land and sea are human and worthy of respect, not to be dominated and exploited.

I drew upon my experience as a Haida dancer. We use masks to portray different creatures; the Haida word for mask means literally, “to imitate”, but in the context of dance it means to “bring to life”.
— Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson

The exhibit also features a companion book released by Heritage Publishing, a stunning collection featuring the powerful and whimsical photo montages. Accompanied by meticulous ethnographic research, and insightful, reflective text describing the being’s place in Haida cosmology, the book is available at fine retailers, and at Amazon