Framed Art Card - Shapeshifter (12" x 9")
Artist: Andy Everson
In the time before the flood, our ancestors could shapeshift into other creatures or objects. One of the common shapeshifters in our history is the trickster raven. While often getting into mischief, he also contributed in setting up the world as we know it today. By transforming himself into a pine needle, for instance, he was ingested by a chief’s daughter, impregnated her and managed to release the sun from a box held in the chief’s possession. The remnants of shapeshifting and transformation can still be seen today in many rocks, rivers, mountains and streams where the old people were changed to become part of the landscape.
As a dancer, I also recognize the power of our songs and regalia to transform ourselves into other creatures. I know the feeling of donning a mask and entering the floor of the Bighouse. I have felt a roar come through me as a I dance the Grizzly Bear and have witnessed dancers become ravens as they hop across the floor. A mask no longer remains wood but instead becomes flesh and feathers. The dancer ceases to be human and shapeshifts into another being altogether.
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.