Carving festival provides showcase for young artist

Carla Moss, September 12, 2017

Ivy Cargill-Martin's project for the Carving on the Edge Festival this year was a wood block for printing.

Tofino — 

Twenty-year-old Ivy Cargill-Martin inspired many as one of this year’s Featured Artists at the Carving on the Edge Festival in Tofino, Sept. 7-10.

“The public was invited into a window of the creative process as newly carved woodblocks were inked and printed for the very first time,” explained festival coordinator Marika Swan.

Ivy Cargill-Martin's block stole the show with its delicate and intricate carved patterns of salmon swimming upstream.

Ivy said this year’s project was bigger than she expected. She said last year she carved a print block that was approximately three by four inches. This year, she said Marika sent her a much larger piece of wood on which she carved five salmon rounding up stream.

"Last year Ivy joined the Carving on the Edge team as a research assistant for the Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive (formerly the Living Archive). While she was hosting the archival installation at last year's festival, she took a printmaking class with Dan Law,” said Marika Swan. “She showed such natural talent that we invited her back as a featured artist this year.”

“As a part of opening night we held a live printing session with new work from myself, Ivy and two visiting, female carving artists,” continued Swan. “Before the event each artist was sent a custom milled block of local yellow cedar and two audio tracks of an interview by Tim Paul with late elder Moses Smith speaking about the role of an artist and the spiritual importance of the migratory salmon.”

Ivy’s print was sold to a couple from Switzerland.

“They were there when I printed it and the next day they asked if they could buy it,” said Ivy. “They were really happy to have bought it from me, they wanted a picture of it with me and they got my email address so they can keep in touch with me. So that was really exciting.”

Living on a float house with her mother without the option of video games or TV, Ivy fell in love with drawing in her elementary school years.

“We were living at the float house where we had no electricity so I had to find ways to amuse myself,” said Ivy. “So I became inspired to draw and I’ve always loved to draw.”

“After high school I came up with the idea that I would like to make a living off my art,” Ivy continued. “So I started taking my art to markets, making cards, selling in local outlets and I also made a Facebook page to try and promote it little more - around the world as opposed to just on Vancouver Island.”

With the money she received from her participation in the carving festival Ivy is going to order more cards and art products to sell.

She plans on selling her art and cards at local outlets around the local area including the Common Loaf, Tofino Sea Kayaking and Clayoquot Wild in Tofino.

Ivy is the daughter of Tla-o-qui-aht Master Carver, Carl Martin Sr. and Robin Cargill. She was born in Tofino, raised on a float house near Opitsaht while she attended school Grades 1 – 9, then she and her mother moved to Port Alberni where she graduated from ADSS.

“Creating space for emerging artists to explore new mediums and learn new skills is something that the senior artists involved in the festival are always speaking about,” said Marika Swan. “It's very inspiring and healing for everyone to watch the next generation step into their creative power.”