SGidGang.Xaal, Shoshannah Greene of the Staawas XaaydaGaay was born and raised on Haida Gwaii and now lives in Vancouver. She is a Haida artist, graphic designer, animator, random adventurer, fancy coffee addict, cat lover, and foodie.
Growing up she loved cartoons and would sketch dogs, cats, and lion king characters. Early on she began learning Haida design by tracing her dad, Tommy Greene’s designs. Later, her diverse art interests led to her completing a Bachelor of Media Arts at Emily Carr University.
Today, she is a full-time artist, working on a range of projects including murals, drawings, paintings, illustrating children’s books, and animation. After time spent studying and working in museums, she was inspired to continue to learn from and work with Haida formline.
Integrating Haida design principles, stories, and ways of life into her watercolour and animation work sets SGidGang.Xaal apart. Her work encapsulates light, movement, and tension.
SGidGang.Xaal, Shoshannah Greene tells hilarious stories and is a steadfast, kind, and generous human. She is an incredible friend who also happens to be a talented artist.
-Written by Jaad Gudgihljiwah, Michaela McGuire, friend
Which ’hood are you in?
I live in East Van, and in Haida Gwaii, I live between Skidegate and Daajing Giids.
To me they balance each other in my heart: The city provides a variety of opportunities, places to go, and sooo many different places to eat! Haida Gwaii’s community, nature and the peaceful quiet, and the best home-cooked meal. No one makes pies like Skidegate.
I love having both places to call home.
What do you do?
My hobbies include trying new restaurants and coffee shops; playing Red Dead Redemption II or Legend of Zelda; walking around Vancouver (petting all the friendly cats out and about); and spending time near the beach.
My primary focus is on Haida Design and (digital and traditional) illustration. I also work with the Indigenous Resource Working Group for the BCCDC, creating various resources for Indigenous Communities.
I have spent the last seven years focused on learning and understanding Haida formline on a deeper level. Taking the time to learn Haida formline has really built up my self-confidence as an artist. I feel that I am venturing into the next level of my journey, and going into a space of creation with more self-expression in my work. I’m really looking forward to exploring combining different mediums and creating more contemporary work.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on so many different projects!
This is a consistent statement, but it ranges from book illustrations, paintings, private commissions, research about building a stop-motion puppet for fun, and, most recently, I created a piece for the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art’s current exhibition, Bright Futures!
Where can we find your work?
I am a full-time artist, animation and video game nerd, and animal lover!
My work is posted mostly on Instagram. I post more frequently there, with quite a few work-in-progress shots on my IG stories. And at the Bill Reid Gallery is my latest gouache painting, until January 2024.