About this object

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.


Handwritten in pencil on the reverse-side of the page are the lines, "...And, from time to time, thli'naksti(?) falls to nisma and a nayakak comes to life and begins the long journey back to dreaming and thence to Taa'winisim, that great Talking Stick out in the universe, to wait and fall back, again, and..." and "Cancer is a pain in the brain."

Physical description

A pencil drawing on a diamond-shaped piece of white paper. The front-side of the paper is a hand-drawn image of a thunderbird, set against a white background with seven small grey stars. Drawn above the head of the thunderbird is a large diamond-shaped star with a trail of dashes suggesting that it is a shooting star. Two rounded feathers(?) sit atop the bird's head. A circular eye is surrounded by a teardrop-like shape. The beak is decorated with a tower-shape in an arch, and circular ovoid. A waving arrow extends from the mouth of the bird. A line of wide rounded zigzags, starting at the base of the bird's head, descends into a talon(?) decorated with a horizontally positioned oval with a cross. A wing, extending from the torso, is embellished with a creature with teeth and an eye-shape(?), an inverted tower-shape, and two shallow crescents.