Haida Artist Raises Funds for Ukraine After Planned Kyiv Exhibition Derailed

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A Haida artist uses his skills to raise money for the people of Ukraine after an art exhibition he had planned in the capital, Kyiv, was derailed by the war with Russia.

Working from his studio in North Vancouver, Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas’ designs draw inspiration from Haida artwork and Japanese comics, a mixture he calls “Haida Manga.”

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“All the talk around reconciliation has just been because we’ve been unable to see ourselves as human,” he told Global News.

“Haida Manga is an approach to finding the human in art.”

Among the pieces that were to be exhibited in Kyiv during an autumn exhibition was Child of kyiv, bold, shimmering artwork featured on the hood of a ZAZ-AA03 Slavuta, a car made in post-Soviet Ukraine.

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“kyiv Child” balaclava by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas (mny.ca).


CNW Group/Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas Art)


The piece mimics a centuries-old stone carving on St. Michael’s Cathedral in kyiv, of a spear-carrying warrior on horseback.

Yahgulanaa’s composition substitutes the warrior for a mother and child, the couple crossing a plain gilded with gold and silver leaf.

The artist still plans to show the piece in Kyiv one day, but “only when Ukraine is a free country again.”

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Until there, he sells prints of the artwork for $500the proceeds of which will go to UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders projects in Ukraine.

Only 224 of the draws will be offered, with the number reflecting the February 24 date when Russia launched its invasion.

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Through it all, Yahgulanaa says his art continues to try to break down barriers and avoid simple binaries.

“Haida Manga is an effort to try to reduce all the clutter.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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