Bella Bella Chest Study is a set of four (4) prints with matching numbers by John Livingston. These prints depict the four sides of a late 1800’s chest from Bella Bella.
Bella Bella Chest Study, Bird Design. This print shows the front face of the chest.
Bella Bella Chest Study, Human Design. This print shows the back side of the chest.
Bella Bella Chest Study, Human End Design (2). These two prints each show a human head, facing in opposite directions.
“I was fortunate enough to come across fragments of an old chest which comes from Bella Bella. Although the chest was in extremely bad condition I felt it was an excellent design. After restoring the old fragments (which have since become part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Anthropology at UBC in Vancouver), I painted the four sides to the chest. Working with the original form lines and parts of the secondary designs I have tried to bring the chest back to its original beauty. Most always these chests have a human or half human side and an animal side. In this case there’s a bird design.
Unlike other chests which have very simple end designs, the quality of this chest also shows in the human face end designs which are not only two colour painting but also incorporate cross hatching. The quality of the design and the fact that it’s painted with Native made pigments dates the chest to the latter half of the 1800’s. The operculum shells (which are part of a sea snail) were most always inlaid in one side only of the lid. In this case I placed them on the bird side. Each time I have the opportunity to work with old designs like this I believe it expands my artistic horizons.”
– John Livingston
This limited edition silkscreen print titled “Bella Bella Chest Design” by John Livingston was hand produced by the screen printing process. It is the only limited edition printing of this design. The artist has inspected and signed each copy in the edition. All trial copies of this edition have been destroyed and the printing stencils obliterated.