Derek Wilson

Derek Wilson was a Haisla artist, his crest was Killerwhale. Derek used a variety of materials, working in wood, silver, gold, copper, ivory, gemstones and silkscreen. Beginning in the late 1950's, Derek and his brother Barry Wilson would finish off the pieces that their uncle Henry Robertson would discard. Encouraged by David Gladstone and Russell Smith, Derek started to work with gold and silver. His designs were influenced by his Tsimshian and Haisla background. Derek had work displayed at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. In 1981, the Queen of England received a gold ring from Derek as a representative gift from the visiting First Nations. From 2004 to 2006, Derek helped his uncle Henry Robertson oversee the recreation of the nineteenth-century G’psgolox pole that was made for the country of Sweden as part of a repatriation deal between Sweden and Canada. Derek was also featured in the NFB documentary 'Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole'. In 2008, Derek helped teach and advise the students of Vancouver’s Northwest Coast Jewellery Arts Program. This program was started in 2007 by Haida/Kwakwaka’wakw artist Dan Wallace. Derek, along with his brother Barry, were among the most versatile and creative jewellers working in the market. Their use of uncommon imagery, inlay work, overlay and atypical formats set them apart. Derek passed away in 2011.