An introduction

This book is more than a wildlife story, it is a thoughtfully constructed celebration of the grizzly bear, a skillfully realised visual journey around one of the last surviving tracts of temperate rainforest on earth. A creative, poetic observation of life in Knight Inlet that is brim with rich and involving images of  animal behaviour, wild landscapes and time spent in this edenic corner of our fragile planet.

Travelling between spring and summer over an eight year period, the Irish photographer Dave Campbell has captured images that share something of this threatened landscape with you.  He champions Knight Inlet as one of the few safe havens of the raincoast grizzly through the simple act of documenting the world in which these magnificent animals thrive.

A beautifully made book that steps outside what we have come to expect from wildlife publications, Voice of the Great Spirit features hand drawn calligraphy, diary-like notes and thoughtful observations brought to life by people who do not wish to disturb the landscape they are working within.

From the first page you travel the skies over the Inlet through to landing at Glendale Cove, moving gradually through the forest for a glimpse of the grizzly bear until you stand face to face with him on his own terms. A narrative that carries us along with the landscape, plant life and other animals who live in this part of the Canadian wilderness.

Here one may encounter the grizzly bear as he truly is, as a much loved creature who stirs something in us. As the gentle playful bear; the fisher bear, the family bear – not as the aggressive bear of our imagination – but as the clear voice of the great spirit.

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About the authors

The Photographer Dave Campbell is originally from Northern Ireland. He left Bangor, Co. Down at the beginning of the ‘Troubles’ to study photography in London, after which he moved to Dublin where he has worked as an advertising photographer for over thirty years. During his career he has won many awards for outstanding achievement in both Irish and international advertising campaigns. Latterly his attention has moved toward wildlife photography, and in particular to the observation of his consuming interest in the grizzly bear.

Words, calligraphy and design are from Margaret Healion. Over a long and successful career as an advertising Creative Director, Margaret judged, chaired and was awarded by a number of international creative committees, notably the Art Directors Club of Europe and the Kinsale International Advertising festival. She is currently a graduate student of Philosophy and lives in Ireland.

The foreword is written by Douglas H. Chadwick; a leading wildlife biologist, National Geographic contributor, and the author of numerous books on natural history, including the acclaimed The Fate of the Elephant, named by the New York Times Book Review as Best Book of the Year.