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Description

A drawing on a bookmark. The front-side of the bookmark is a vertically oriented image of three whales and a skull hand-drawn in black pen on a grey-white background. At the top of the bookmark, a whale in an arched position, releases air from its blowhole. Baleen lines the mouth of the whale and the pectoral flipper is decorated with a tower-shape and an oval. Below the whale is a large human skull with a cross drawn in the center of the forehead; the left-side of the skull is lightly shaded. Below the skull are two smaller whales; the left whale has baleen teeth and swims in a downwards motion while the right whale swims upwards and does not have baleen. A human arm and hand, decorated with an ovoid, extends from the right side of the skull along the right edge to the bottom of the page. The reverse-side of the bookmark is a machine-printed promotional advert for Malaspina College. The background is a dark turquoise colour with two dark pink lines running along the left side of the page. Within a white rectangle, the college's subject offerings and address are printed in dark pink and dark turquoise.

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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