Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Carpe Fin (detail), 2018. Seattle Art Museum, Ancient and Native American Art Acquisition Fund, McRae Foundation and Karen Jones, 2018.30. © Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. Photo: Len Gilday.
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas: Carpe Fin
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA - Mar 7, 2021
Measuring six by 19 feet, this extraordinary watercolor mural by artist, activist and storyteller Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas employs his distinctive “Haida manga” style to tell a powerful story. Blending visual elements from Haida art, Japanese manga, Pop Art and graphic novels with Indigenous oral history traditions, Yahgulanaas recounts a tale of a sea-mammal hunter whose community has been beset by a series of disasters and who is taken to the underwater realm of a powerful spirit. Commissioned for the SAM collection and complemented by Carpe Fin: A Haida Manga, a hardcover book from Douglas & McIntyre, the mural alerts us to ongoing environmental destruction and human alienation from the natural world.