Troy Roberts

Weiwakum band, Campbell River, BC, Canada

Troy Roberts is a First Nations artist who used to be a boxer. If you think this is a contradiction in terms, then be sure to take a close look at Troy's art. His wood carvings not only reveal his Native Canadian heritage, but in a remarkable way also the Native North-American historical link with Asia.

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Descended from chiefs of the Weiwakum First Nation, Troy Roberts has been immersed in his native cultural heritage since he was a small boy when he learned about the dances and myths of his people under the disciplined guidance of the late Elizabeth Kwaksistala. Troy now carries on this tradition with his sons, Tyrone and Nathan. Troy's artistic talent came to light at a very young age when he was inspired by the most stylistically inventive artist of his time, the late Willie Seaweed. Although he has since pursued other careers, his achievements in carving over the last 20 years has opened doors to the rediscovery of his native heritage.

Yagis Mask, wood carving
In 1993, he was involved in the creation of the canoe "KlineeQwala" (Lightning Speed) and was part of the crew (stern-most figure) who paddled it from Campbell River to the Qatuwas Festival in Bella Bella, some 270 miles away.

As an artist, Troy's expression of his cultural heritage has emerged in a wide variety of carved artwork, beginning in his mind's eye, manifesting as a drawing and coming into its fullness as a carving. These works of art bear both the marks of traditional native carving techniques and the unique inspiration of the young artist. Troy's favorite carved pieces are the transformation figures which bring two images together in one mask. Each piece is operated by strings within the masks; the beaks clap loudly during the dance ceremony to punctuate the powerful performance.

Troy is a careful and precise artist whose work reflects his concern for perfection of line and shape. Even the insides of his masks reveal the same sensitive precision as the outer forms, hollowed out in smooth planes and clean lines, mirroring the sculptural features of the mask fronts.

Halibut bowl, native wood carving
The colours Troy chooses are of the same character as the distinctive style of carving he has developed - bold and strong, yet sensitively identified with the unique piece he has chosen to carve. Troy feels a great peace within when he is carving these masks. He says... "There is nothing more satisfying than creating a mystical spirit of my culture out of something so natural as a block of wood."

Now married and with two young sons, Troy's career as a freelance carver and artist is growing quickly. Many of his pieces are part of private and museum collections in both Canada and the United States.

Troy Roberts
1453 Cliffe Crescent
V9W 7K6, Campbell Indian Reserve
Campbell River, B.C., Canada
Tel: 250-830-0145 (international: +1 250-830-0145)

Troy Roberts

Wood carvings - Indian masks

Native Indian Deer Mask Kulus Mask, wood carving Kolus, Native North-American totem pole
Native North-American plaque about killer whale and the Sun Kulus, Native Indian mask Kolus, mythical Native North-American bird
Wolf mask, native wood carving Raven rattle, Native Canadian wood carving Kolus, Native North-American headdress
Wolf mask, First Nations wood carving Thunderbird Transformation Mask Moon mask, Native Canadian art
Dzunuk´wa, Native North-American totem Grouse Mask, Canadian Indian art Yagis, Kwakwaka´wakw sea monster mask Pugwis Mask with Cormorant
Pugwis mask with loon Pugwis with kingfisher mask Killer whale totem pole, native wood carving Totem pole, raven on top of Sisiutl
Sea Raven, First Nations mythical creature Sun mask, First Nations wood carving
Killer whale, Native Canadian transformation maskDzunukwa, First Nations transformation mask
Raven transformation mask
Hokhokw Mask, used for the Hamatsa (Cannibal Dance) ceremonyThree First Nation art paddles: Thunderbird, Raven and Young Kolus
Sun / Moon transformation Mask, First Nations art

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