Y Public Art is a large scale public art design and installation company founded by award-winning designer Barry Gilson and internationally-acclaimed artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.
Designed, fabricated and installed under Gilson's business management and Yahgulanaas's artistic direction, each piece aims to engage the broader public, inviting the viewer to participate in contemporary social issues.
About Barry Gilson
Barry Gilson is the principal of award-winning architectural interiors company RED Design. He is a highly experienced Operations Executive who has demonstrated the ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a variety of highly competitive industries, cutting-edge markets, and fast-paced environments.
Barry has strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of more than 35 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development, design, project management and facilities planning. He has a proven ability to successfully analyze an organization's critical business requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities, and develop innovative and cost-effective solutions for enhancing competitiveness, increasing revenues, and improving customer service offerings.
About Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas
Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas is an award-winning visual contemporary artist and author. His work has been seen in public spaces, museums, galleries, and private collections across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East. Institutional collections include the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum and Vancouver Art Gallery. His large sculptural works are part of the public art collection of the City of Vancouver, City of Kamloops, and University of British Columbia. Yahgulanaas's publications include national bestsellers Flight of the Hummingbird and RED: A Haida Manga.
Yahgulanaas became a full-time artist after many decades working in the Haida Nation's successful campaign to protect its biocultural diversity; however, he began to play as an artist much earlier. As the descendant of iconic artists Isabella Edenshaw, Charles Edenshaw, and Delores Churchill, his early training was under exceptional creators and master carvers of talented lineage. It wasn't until the late 1990s after an exposure to Chinese brush techniques, under the tutelage of Cantonese master Cai Ben Kwan, that he consciously began to merge Haida and Asian artistic influences into his self-taught practice, and innovated the art form called "Haida Manga."
Haida Manga blends North Pacific Indigenous iconographies and framelines with the graphic dynamism of Asian manga. Haida Manga is committed to hybridity as a positive force that opens a third space for critical engagement. It offers an empowering and playful way of viewing and engaging with social issues as it seeks participation, dialogue, reflection, and action.
Yahgulanaas's visual practice encompasses a variety of different art forms, including large-scale public art projects, mixed media sculptures and canvases, repurposed automobile parts, acrylics, watercolours, ink drawings, ceramics, and illustrated publications. Exploring themes of identity, environmentalism, and the human condition, he uses art to communicate a world view that while particular to Haida Gwaii, his ancestral North Pacific archipelago, is also relevant to a contemporary and internationally-engaged audience.
Influenced by both the tradition of Haida iconography and contemporary Asian visual culture, Yahgulanaas has created an artistic practice that is celebrated for its vitality and originality.
Learn more about Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas.