Russell Tate was born in 1966 in Port Alberni, British Columbia and is a member of the Ditidaht First Nation. The Ditidaht are one of 14 Nuu-chah-nulth Nations whose territories stretch for 300 km along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Russell began carving in 2004 after being inspired by Art Thompson and the artists featured on the television show 'Ravens and Eagles'. He is largely self-taught and specializes in carving masks and paddles in a distinct Ditidaht style. Many of Russell's masks are carved in an abstract fashion, often wedge-shaped or triangular in cross-section, with two angled planes of the face meeting in the center. This style of mask often features exaggerated eyes and sharply angled eyebrows which make them a vibrant stylistic counterpoint to the artforms of the Kwakwaka'wakw and Coast Salish.
Reference: Black, M. (1999). Out of the Mist: Treasures of the Nuu-chah-nulth Chiefs. Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum