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A pencil drawing of a killer whale on a machine-printed bookmark. Printed at the top, on the front-side of the bookmark, is "Mermaid Tales Bookshop" and the stores logo; a mermaid with a dark grey tail and black hair in a light grey circle. Positioned below in the white space of the bookmark is a hand-drawn image of a killer whale outlined in dark grey pencil. The interior of the whale head is decorated with white and light grey shapes and line designs. Triangular teeth line the upper jaw. A blowhole is drawn at the top of the whale's head; air, depicted as dashes, exits the blowhole and forms a swirl underneath the bookstore's name. Towards the rear of the head is a dorsal fin embellished with a white and dark grey ovoid, a white tower-shape, and a light grey asterisk. Underneath the head is a white oval with an elongated diamond-shape drawn in dark grey pencil. A pectoral fin, decorated with a light grey arch and asterisk, is drawn along the right edge of the bookmark. The upper pectoral fin joint is embellished with a small creature. Printed in black ink below the drawing is the bookstore's commercial information. On the reverse-side of the bookmark, a Chinese proverb and the bookstore's mermaid logo, is printed horizontally on the paper in black and light grey ink.

History Of Use

These 62 small works (3223/1-62) comprise a collection of drawings in pencil, ink, pencil crayon, and felt pen made by the artist between the years 1968 and 2015. During that period the artist has identified himself by the following names: Ron Hamilton; Hupquatchew; Ki-ke-in; Kwayatsapalth; Chuuchkamalthnii; and Haa’yuups. The drawings are, for the most part, applied to the backs of bookmarks acquired from a range of bookshops; some are applied to other pieces of paper or cutouts from his earlier silkscreen prints. Many of the images represent killer whales, often in conjunction with accoutrements and symbols of Nuu-chah-nulth whaling. The juxtaposition of bookmark and representation of Nuu-chah-nulth himwits’a, or narrative, is a deliberate and meaningful placement of two distinct knowledge systems in relationship with one another. Ephemeral drawings like these were not created for the market; the artist has long made them for himself and sometimes as gifts for relatives and friends; they are a way of sharing his knowledge and experience about Nuu-chah-nulth ways of knowing, thinking about, and being in this world; they are expressive of what he calls kiitskiitsa: marks made with intention.

Item History

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