by Joel Bergner
In the coming- of- age Hamatsa ceremony, a boy on the verge of manhood is "kidnapped", becomes wild and uncontrollable, and then the community brings the boy back to "humanity". In our modern urban reality, this concept is still very important for our youth.
" My current work combines the art and stories of traditional societies with current social issues and urban artistic styles. I believe that ancient spirituality, philosophy, and mythology from around the world has a lot to teach us today and relates to our common humanity. My work involves research into the significance of the symbols, deities and people I paint in order to understand the lessons that they teach and how we can learn from them."
"This image deals with heroism as well: the importance of youth having heroes in their lives as they transition into adulthood. The figure on the left is inspired by the "Four-faced" mask of the Kwakwaka'wakw indigenous people of the Northwest Pacific region of Canada. In their coming- of- age Hamatsa ceremony, a boy on the verge of manhood is "kidnapped" by this spirit who takes him into the forest, where he becomes wild and uncontrollable. The community then brings the boy back to "humanity" through a series of dances and rituals. In our modern urban reality, this concept is just as important; adolescents are very vulnerable to the failings of society and many are swept up in negative forces beyond their control. It is up to the community as a whole to create a support structure that will allow the young to flourish on their road to adulthood."
- Joel Bergner -
Page created on 10/29/2012 1:14:22 PM
Last edited 8/2/2017 12:13:14 AM