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 human skulls on a single-sided piece of paper. The paper is cut at a forty-five degree angle along the top edge; the right edge of the paper is longer than the left edge. The background, hand-drawn in pink ink, is decorated with crisscrossing assemblages of line patterns in varying lengths and thicknesses. Two burgundy lines run vertically down the center of the paper; between the two lines are small burgundy circles. To the left of the lines are four half human skulls arranged vertically and outlined in burgundy. The eye and nasal cavities are speckled with burgundy dots. The right half of the paper mirrors the left except that the skulls are positioned approximately one centimeter lower than those on the left half of the paper. The reverse-side of the paper is blank.