Tlehpik Hjalmer Wenstob was raised on Tzartus island in Barkley Sound, in Huu-ay-aht First Nation’s territory; it was there that his understanding and desire to pursue both his traditional Nuu-chah-nulth and contemporary art practices began. Hjalmer is an interdisciplinary Nuu-Chah-Nulth artist who specializes in sculpture and carving. He is Nuu-chah-nulth from the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, as well as Norwegian and English. Hjalmer speaks of three dialects of his work: contemporary, traditional, and community-based. His art practice ranges from ceremonial masks for his community, to community collaborative carving events, to contemporary works such as oil barrel totem poles and Styrofoam bentwood boxes. Hjalmer completed both an undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Victoria, exploring the relationships between culture and art, and the balance between traditional and contemporary. His work, at times highly political, uses humour and irony to pose difficult questions of respect, reconciliation and environmental issues. Hjalmer lives with his family in his Tla-o-qui-aht community of Ty-Histanis, and they own and operate Cedar House Gallery in Ucluelet, BC.
Hjalmer recently reimagined the NAME logo, and will discuss the creative process and reveal the final result!