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.

Physical description

A drawing of five skulls on a one-sided piece of paper. The drawing is horizontally oriented. The top-right edge of the paper is cut into a concave curve; the bottom-right edge is cut at a forty-five degree angle. The background of the drawing is decorated with crisscrossing assemblages of line patterns of varying lengths and thicknesses. There are two parallel orange lines extending horizontally from the very left skull to the right edge of the paper; all of the line assemblages above the parallel lines are drawn in orange ink, below the lines are both orange and yellow assemblages. In the foreground, five human skulls are drawn in a row; the skulls are outlined in dark green ink, the interior space is white, and the eye sockets and nasal cavities are decorated with crisscrossing green line patterns. The reverse-side of the paper is blank.