Print Unframed - Journeys (17" x 22")
Artist: Andy Everson
For my ancestors, the dugout canoe was their primary means of transportation. It brought them to summer camps and favoured fishing grounds. It transported them to spectacular clam beaches and ancient sacred sites. It delivered them to other villages to visit, to forge alliances and to attend potlatches.
In the late 1800s, my K’omoks great-grandmother, Mary Frank, was to be initiated as a hamat̓sa dancer by her uncle Chief Na̱k̓apenḵa̱m in the village of Fort Rupert. A small group of individuals were tasked with making the journey from Fort Rupert to K’omoks and back to pick her up—a roundtrip distance in excess of 500 km. Incidentally, my Walas Kwag’uł great-grandfather, Charlie Wilson, was a member of that crew. Little did he know that over forty years later, his middle daughter would marry the youngest son of Mary Frank. The connection between the families began as a journey and continues with their descendants to this day. When I was 10 years old, I was given my great grandmother’s song and dance—always reflecting the journey that the dance took to get down here to my home in K’omoks.
Over 21 years ago, I started my artistic journey by releasing my very first limited edition print…based, of course, on a canoe. Earlier that summer, I had embarked on my first Tribal Journey, paddling south from K’omoks to Victoria. With every paddle stroke, I channeled the strength of my ancestors. Through searing heat, our muscles ached, but we persevered. The reward, however, wasn’t the destination. No, the reward was the journey: making friends along the way, embracing our traditional culture and touching the very waterways our ancestors paddled on many years earlier. Once in a while you may encounter a little rain on the journey. It may be brief or it may be torrential, but the journey continues….
About The Artist
Andy Everson was born in Comox B.C. in 1972 and named Nagedzi after his grandfather, Chief Andy Frank. His cultural interests lay with both his Comox and Kwakwaka'wakw ancestries and are expressed through dancing, singing, and even the pursuit of a Master's degree in anthropology. Andy feels that my artwork stands on par with these other accomplishments.
Although he began drawing Northwest Coast art at an early age, his first serious attempt wasn't until 1990 when He started designing and painting chilkat-style blankets for use in potlatch dancing. From these early self-taught lessons he has tried to follow in the footsteps of m Kwakiutl relatives in creating bold and unique representations that remain rooted in the age-old traditions of his ancestors.