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/Kwakwa?ka?'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."
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):
Here's a video about the project and some of Everson's work in general: