Sutherland, Morris


Morris Sutherland (Moy) is from Ahousaht, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He is of the Nuu-chah-nulth nation. His native name is Hiish-Miik, which translates as “someone who gets whatever they are after”. As a young man he worked in the forests of British Columbia where he always found strength and peace of mind. To this day, his culture remains his greatest source of inspiration.

In 1995, with encouragement from family and friends, Moy began his artistic career in Alert Bay, learning the principals of carving from carver Joe Wilson. Upon mastering some basic techniques, he moved home to learn more about the Nuu-chah-nulth style from Mark Mickey in Port Alberni.

In 1997 Moy worked in Sooke, BC with Kwakwaka’wakw artist Carey Newman to learn the basics of Jewellery making. In 2000 he began an apprenticeship with world-renowned Nuu-chah-nulth artist Arthur Thompson and they worked together until Arthur’s death in March of 2003. While working with Art, Moy furthered his understanding of carving, Jewellery making, totem pole carving, bentwood box making, sculpture, articulating masks, and Nuu-chah-nulth design structure. More importantly he also learned the cultural significance of the carvings that were done with Art.

Moy has the benefit of having learned from both Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth artists. He has used these experiences to broaden his understanding of all Pacific Northwest Coast native art forms. Although he is very careful to stay within the traditional rules and values of his culture, he strives to find ways to set himself apart from other artists. He is exploring different media, such as gem setting in gold and silver, silkscreen prints, and larger works such as stone sculptures, totem poles and canoes.