Totem Poles

A totem submitted to Christ Church's Totem Pole exhibition.
A totem submitted to Christ Church's Totem Pole exhibition.

WHAT would be on your totem pole?

That’s the question being asked at Christ Church, Staincliffe, as they display self-inspired artwork from all over the world.

The church, in Staincliffe Hall Road, is hosting its sixth exhibition of mail art – works sent through the post from around the globe – based on North American totem poles.

Historically totems were carved and decorated to represent different tribes along the north west Pacific coast where vast forests of red cedar trees grow, reflecting their cultures or telling a story. Everyone in a group was familiar with the particular creatures and patterns carefully carved on the poles. Some showed who lived in a village, some were like coats of arms, and some like picture books.

Now artists’ own personal totems are on show after the church called for entries online and asked artists to submit their own designs.

The exhibition is open around the church’s Mass times – Saturday 10am-10.45am, Sunday 10.30am-1pm and Wednesday 10am-11am – and runs from now until Sunday September 16.