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 on a bookmark. The front-side of the bookmark is a hand-drawn image of a salmon on a white background. The drawing is horizontally oriented. A blue wavy line, representing the waterline, extends horizontally across the upper part of the page. The salmon is centrally positioned on the page. Most of the salmon is coloured in with green ink; the side of the salmon is decorated with crisscrossing assemblages of orange lines in varying lengths and thicknesses. The lateral line running the length of the body is decorated with a green crisscross design. The dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal, and the caudal fin of the salmon are white with a green border and a green dash pattern. A human-like being is drawn in orange ink in the bottom right corner of the bookmark; the being has a human-like face. Orange bubbles rise from its mouth. A human-like arm extends from the top of the being's head. The human-like hand, decorated with an unshaded ovoid, is drawn holding a black fishing line. A black-brown fishing hook and a small orange fish are drawn at the end of the fishing line. The reverse-side of the bookmark is machine-printed; the background is orange, and text is in red and black ink. At the top, an open cartoon book displays the bookstore's name, "Clifford's Wake." Printed below is the store's commercial information.