Born to Jim and Diane Work in Campbell River in 1975, Kwakwaka'wakw artist Clinton Work grew up learning Kwakwaka’wakw stories and preliminary Kwak’wala from Diane Matilpi.
An avid illustrator from childhood, Work began applying his artistic skills to traditional Kwakwaka’wakw form and design in the mid 1990’s. He has apprenticed and collaborated with Cree artist Phil Ashbee, helping to complete a major installation "Salmon Coming Home" at the Nanaimo Port Theatre in July 2000.
In 2007, Work began experimenting as a silversmith, a skill he learned from Saulteaux/Ojibway artist Kelvin Thompson, whose work we also have in our collection. His natural sense of design and unusual motif choices sets his work apart from what is often available.
Work’s masks attract international buyers due to his precision and finishing consistency, one of which involves lightly sanding his masks after painting them to expose the natural grain, rendering an antiqued quality. Well versed in plant technology, Work harvests, cures, prepares and weaves his own cedar bark adornments.
Work has cemented a niche in the art market as one of few artists to apply cropped abstract interpretations of traditional form-line across a wide spectrum of mediums including acrylic on canvas, prints, carved wood panels, exquisite oxidized pendants etched and gauged into Canadian silver coins, as well as his spectacular plastic “Clamming Bucket circa 2014” which was included in the ‘Contemporary American Indian Art’ exhibition at the Nerman Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
Work has delved into several mediums and has also restored damaged art pieces with impeccable precision. He has created a number of pieces for Copper Moon Gallery since 2004 including our logo design, numerous masks, headdresses, bentwood box designs, drum paintings, woven headbands, and custom jewelry pieces.
2011: Silver: Celebrating 25 Years; Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
2012: Medium: Painting on CanvasLattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
2012: Barnacles to Butterflies: Unusual Silver Jewellery; Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
2014: Contemporary American Indian Art; The Nerman Museum Collection, Overland Park, Kansas
2014: From the Depths: Jewellery Inspired by the Sea; Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
2015: From the Forest Floor: Jewellery Inspired by the Forest; Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
PERMANENT ART EXHIBITIONS
2000: Salmon Coming Home: Nanaimo Port Theatre, Nanaimo BC, Collaborator/Assistant to Cree artist Phil Ashbee
PUBLIC & CORPORATE COMMISSIONS
2004: Copper Moon Logo Design - Nanaimo BC
2007: Van-Isle Races: Cadillac Van-Isle 360 Awards, Commissioned through Copper Moon Gallery,
2007: PAPTAC: Owl Design for Corporate giftsCommissioned through Copper Moon Gallery, Nanaimo BC
2007: PAPTAC: Sea Otter Design for Corporate gifts, Commissioned through Copper Moon Gallery, Nanaimo
2006: Native Spirit Pumpkins; Loaves & Fishes; Copper Moon Gallery, Nanaimo BC
2007: Native Spirit Pumpkins; Loaves & Fishes Copper Moon Gallery, Nanaimo BC
2011 - Present: Annual Charity Bentwood Boxes; Urban Native Youth Association Lattimer Gallery, Vancouver BC
ARTISTS WE REPRESENT