Charles Elliott

Charles ElliotCharles Elliot was born and raised on the Tsartlip reserve located on the west side of the Saanich Peninsula, B.C. He is a member of the Coast Salish Nation and began drawing, painting, and carving at an early age. He entered art contests and drew non-specific Indian art. He learned in the later years that it was different. Charles is one of the many artists who believe that you must know about your culture and where it came from before you try to express it in art. "You can't put anything contemporary in your work if you're not aware of your Nation". Since then he has become more involved in Indian Art and has been a full time artist for about twenty years. Some artists have dedicated themselves to the revival of Coast Salish art. Salish art had to be woken and nurtured back to health to become strong. Charles has had an active role in this revival. "I am happy to say that I'm one of the people who has dedicated my life to it". Like many other artists, Charles produces most of his art for traditional use, for culture. He feels the price of a piece can only be governed by the time it took to create it. Charles has some sound advice for emerging artists. "Do your own art form, if it's Salish, do Salish. Find out what it's about, do what you know out of respect for other nations. If you don't know it, find out. Don't reproduce what you don't know. Doing your own art helps to rebuild the Nation". He believes that innovation is just as important because "...it proves that we're not gathering dust in a museum. Reproduce new pieces to continue the growth of culture, continue the growth of art".

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