Luke Marston

Luke Marston (Ts’uts’umutl) is a member of the Stz’uminus (Chemainus) First Nation.  He was born in 1976 to carvers Jane and David Marston who introduced him to carving. He learned Salish history and traditional stories from the late Coast Salish artist Simon Charlie, and honed his talents in form, design and carving detailed finishing from Haida/Nisga’a artist Wayne Young. He also spent time researching and studying old Salish works in the archives and historical collections of museums.

In 1999, Luke assisted Simon Charlie with the carving of four house posts for a public school in Seattle, WA. For five years, he worked at Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum alongside his brother John, and other carvers such as Jonathan Henderson, Sean Whannock, Sean Karpes.

Through his work, Luke wants to preserve his culture, and share it with the public. His fine artworks grace many private collections and has been exhibited nationally and internationally.

In 2008, Luke traveled to Japan with his brother John to participate in a cultural exchange called Ome Art Jam. The Marston brothers participated in a series of demonstrations, collaborations and exhibitions, and performances of mask dancing. Luke appreciated the precise craftsmanship and attention to the details of the Japanese culture, both characteristics of his carving practice.

Commissioned by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs, Luke created the Medicine Box, representing and honoring the survivors of the Canadian residential school system. Medicine Box, a centerpiece of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, traveled across Canada to all the hearings of the Commission. It now resides at the National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.

Former Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Steven L. Point, judge of the Provincial Court and Elder Xwĕ lī qwĕl tĕl from the Stó:lö Nation, commissioned the Healing Pole from Luke. Designed to bridge the gap between nations and bring people together, this carved and painted red cedar pole stands fourteen-foot tall in the foyer of Government House, in Victoria.

Luke’s masterpiece, Shore to Shore, was unveiled in April 2015 at Brockton Point, in the fame Stanley Park of Vancouver, BC. Three years in the making, this 16.5-foot bronze-cast cedar sculpture is a tribute to his ancestors: Joe Silvey, a fisherman from Pico Island of the Azores off the coast of Portugal, Silvey’s second wife and Luke’s Coast Salish great-great-great-mother Kwatleematt, as well as Khaltinaht, Joe’s first wife and sister of Kwatleematt. The Silvey family now counts 1,200 members.  Written by journalist Suzanne Fournier and published by Harbour Publishing, the book Shore to Shore: The Art of Ts’uts’umutl Luke Marston chronicles Luke’s career as a Coast Salish carver and the creation of his largest sculptural work.