Photo by Ron Pogue

He's the Defender, and He's Here to Rescue You [16 Pictures]


Take a look at Andy Everson's online presence -- Facebook, Twitter and his official site -- and you'll see that he's a man of three passions: His formline art, his K'omoks/Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw First Nations culture, and Star Wars. He has been known to combine all three, and he did so recently when he transformed a Stormtrooper costume into a piece he calls Defender.

"During one of the pipelines protests, standing on the steps of the legislature building, I had this vision of a Stormtrooper looking through the crowd, all dripping with oil," he recalls. "It got me thinking, why not transform that, why not change it into something that's a positive message? So I started playing with this idea of getting rid of the pure whiteness of the uniform and overing it with our formline design. And I thought, change him from somebody that blindly follows the instructions from his higher-ups to somebody that can take action for himself and for his own people. And so I started to create this idea of this west coast warrior, this Defender of the Land."

RELATED: The Native-Star Wars Connection: Andy Everson

Defender evolved naturally from ideas Everson has been playing with for a few years, aided by his interest in Idle No More and anti-pipeline protests. Here's a look at how this fearsome, benevolent Native guardian came to be (captions are from Everson's Facebook page):

November 13, 2012: "Warrior Up!  Playing around with a design concept and thought it's time to Warrior Up! and protect the land...."

October 17, 2013: "Finished two new images today: Hero and Villain. Initially, they look the same but looks can be deceiving. Which side will you be on?"

December 18, 2013: "In case the message isn't clear: Say "No" to the Enbridge pipeline that purports to travel through unceded First Nations territory! Black represents the oil, red represents the blood of our people" (This image ended up on the Defender's shield.)

February 11, 2014: "Mad scientist..hahaha!"

February 13, 2014: "The canvas is now set. The question remains: what, pray tell, am I gonna paint on this beast?"

February 20, 2014: "Painting formline on wonky asymmetrical plastic buckets is not as easy as I thought."

March 5, 2014: "Making progress....  My show opens March 14th."

March 12, 2014: "A little preview of my heron armour. The 6am photoshoot and cold feet was well worth it. Flippin' surreal! Ron rock!"

March 13, 2014: "Opening reception March 14 at 6pm"

March 15, 2014: "Northern Warrior"

March 17, 2014: "Defender -- Photo by Ron Pogue"

March 18, 2014: "Northern Warrior Maple, ABS plastic, acrylics"

March 18: "Defender"

March 18, 2014: "Close up of Defender on the landscape..."

May 3, 2014: "Gathering up my buckets."

May 4, 2014: "This is where I went with my bucket today."

Here's a video about the project and some of Everson's work in general:

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