Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Brad Starr is from the Fish Clan of the Haisla Nation with ancestry in Kitamaat, Kemano, Kitasoo, and Heiltsuk. Major influences in his life have been the culture, lifestyle, and the values of his people. He has been inspired by two significant members of his extended family; His Uncle Sam Robinson – Master Carver of the Haisla Nation, and his Grandfather Solomon McKay – Master Canoe Builder of the Haisla Nation.
Carving is not a career or hobby for Brad, it is a dedication to the beauty and strength of his heritage. Through his carving, he hopes to create an awareness of and respect for the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Brad worked in the construction field for many years. It was during this time that he gained anew respect and admiration for his ancestors. They were master builders and architects whose works were done without aid of modern materials and equipment. His first serious carving began in 1995. From the first time he picked up his tools and transformed a piece of wood from an idea into a physical reality, he has been captivated by this way of life.
Since then he has been driven to create, translate, and interpret the world aroundhim. Different artists have taught Brad the basics of design and carving in his early years. Since t hen he has worked hard to develop his own unique style. Much of his inspiration comes from those magical moments in everyday life that cause one to pause and really “see” the power of nature, humanity, and the supernatural world.Each piece ofwork that he starts has to be “finished” in his mind before he can pick up his tools and bring it to
Brad’s work often incorporates contemporary ideas into traditional design. His favourite
medium is wood; he also does printmaking and textile design.