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 pencil drawing on a bookmark. The front side is a vertically oriented, hand-drawn image of a killer whale with exaggerated fins. The dorsal fin extends from the middle of the bookmark to the top edge; abstract patterns drawn in red and black ink decorate the interior space of the fin. A stream of air, drawn as black dashes, exits the killer whale's blowhole and encircles the dorsal fin. The whale's eye patch is drawn in green ink, the teeth are in dark red ink, and a dark red arrow extends outward from the whale's mouth. The tail, drawn in red and black ink with black stars, is positioned below the whale's head. The reverse-side of the bookmark is horizontally oriented and is machine-printed. There is an image of a cartoon lion, wearing red shorts with the word "READ," running while reading a book. The background is a light green colour.