Morgan Green is one of Canada's young emerging contemporary artists. A Northwest coast native of Tsimshian descent, she creates Northwest Coast design, masks, paddles, puppets, and worked as assistant carver on the Missing Women’s Memorial pole under Haida/Squamish carver Jordan Seward. Morgan also works in a variety of other media such as painting, drawing, pottery, fashion design, leatherwork, and knife making. Morgan was born March 24th, 1984 in Prince Rupert, BC. Her Tsimshian name 'Lu'uth' was given to her by her great grandparents in Port Simpson BC and means eagle who stays near the nest.
Morgan was surrounded by both western and native art from an early age as both of her parents are full-time practicing artists. Morgan’s mother is a potter/art teacher, while her father is a Tsimshian woodcarver. Morgan began apprenticing with her father at an early age doing basic woodworking, metal work, and painting. She also assisted teaching classes on basket making and pottery, and then went on to work doing clothing alterations and custom shirts. In 2003 Morgan enrolled in Blanche Macdonald Centre’s Fashion Design program where she received formal training in clothing construction, drafting, colour theory, and illustration. Morgan continued to work in the fashion industry until 2006, when she received a grant from Vancouver International Airport and added woodcarving to her set of skills. Her work is currently on display in the International Departures area.
Recently Morgan assisted Master Carver Jordan Seward in the creation of a 30-foot memorial totem pole for the missing and murdered women of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The project also involved teaching twelve First Nations students (mainly women) carving, Northwest Coast design, and painting. As a component of the course, Morgan taught a one-month Regalia class as part of the program. Each student successfully created their own regalia including button blankets, capes, jackets, ribbon dresses, and vests.
Morgan has been featured on CBC, APTN, CTV First Story, and a short documentary by Kelvin Redvers. Morgan’s mentors include Jordan Seward, Richard Adkins, Alano Edzerza, Dave Jack and Henry Green. Her disciplines include leatherwork, clothing, wood sculpture, pottery, painting, drawing, and knife making.
I crave the delight of fabrication. My devotion is to the process of creation and the tactile, sensory nature of my work. I long for the delicate and exquisite artistry of the old masters. I spend days learning the techniques necessary to chase my dreams. I aspire to speak of existence in the same way that existence expresses itself, through tangible matter. When I work hard I gain regeneration, anti-stagnation, and achieve deep satisfaction of the mind.
What things do you remember in their entirety? Hands. The smell of leather. The feel of velvety cedar sanded to perfection. The spicy smell of yellow cedar. Wet, red cedar. Being alone. I smell, touch and remember my materials intimately. Preferring to work in natural mediums, I build and destruct until a finished piece has evolved. I prefer subtlety in design but richness in texture and details. Soft rich texture. Rich and thick. High pigment and bold. Depth in color and hues.
My techniques have been learned through both experimentation and apprenticeship. The themes of my work are a mix of history and my bountiful imagination. Best of all is being filled with a sense of quiet when I am focused on my work.
Metamorphosis is consistently evident in Tsimshian oral history. Visual transformation represented deeper social context with exquisite style. I attempt to show culture on a personal, familial, and social context, and thus I choose to explain my own social commentary through visual art. To finish a piece, I need to feel that a piece is significant to me, is a part of a story, and is high quality by virtue of design standards and style. I want my work to be well crafted, visually stimulating, beautiful, soulful, and original. My pieces show the bridge of history that brings us into the present.
Transformation is used to express the relations between elements that form parts of a given system. It is the process by which deep structures are converted into surface structures. To clarify, the deeper structures could be an idea, or could be the lost knowledge of society. We are all the elements of this system and art is the catalyst that brings structures to the surface.