Reuben is a Nuxalk artist based in British Columbia. For his Emerging Artist Scholarship, Reuben worked with a mentor artist to study advanced carving techniques. For his Scholarship artwork, Reuben carved a mask titled The Spirit of Thunder that is based on an ancient Nuxalk thunder mask currently housed in the Smithsonian’s collection.
Artist website: Instagram @rbmack3
Installation view of The Spirit of Thunder, 2020
Alder, acrylic paint, mirror, graphite, crushed rock, black shell
The Spirit of Thunder, 2020
Alder, acrylic paint, mirror, graphite, crushed rock, black shell Photography Credit: Matthew Wheelock
“Thunder is a supernatural being representing the four brothers who originally encountered Thunder. The red paint represents fire that scorched the brother who got too close to Thunder. The forehead articulates and moves up and down while making a clapping sound while dancing. The faces inside the ears represent fire beings, similar to fire birds.
When thunder opens his eyes you can see the flash of lights and the red triangles inside the face represent the mountains he danced on.”
– Reuben Mack