The Story is in the Soil - Unframed 11x30
Artist: Andy Everson
Skulls bring up a wide gamut of emotions in people. While many immediately think of death and destruction, others conjure up images of nefarious characters sporting skulls tattooed into their skin. Some think skulls look amazing and will decorate anything and everything with them. For others, their fear is so great that they can’t even bear to look at them
Whatever our reaction is, we have an innate and inescapable connection to skulls--the knowledge that underneath our layers of hair, skin, fat and muscle, we too are sporting a nice shiny white cranium. To remind myself of this, I even put my fingers up to my cheekbones and start to feel the contours of my own bone. I caress the orbits and massage the crown. I think of all the stories that I have locked away within the protective walls of my dome. I wonder if anyone will ever gaze upon my bared skull and, if so, would they know any of its former contents? Would they even know who I was?
Anywhere mankind has lived, you are bound to find skulls buried beneath the soil. Each and every one represents a life lived and a life lost. They represent stories of great joy and of great pain. They represent tragedy and loss. They represent lives worth living for. Inside each and every dome, once sat a thousand stories waiting to be told--a thousand stories that now sit hollow in the cavernous remnants of their fortress. Skulls are like libraries once stocked with books that now sit vacant, devoid of their contents.
As a teenager, I remember being called out to an archaeological dig where they found the remains of a young woman flexed in burial posture. I recall looking at those bones and wondering who she was. Was she an ancestor? What were the life stories that once flowed throughout her body? It struck me as so real--life and death--that I started to understand its scarcity and sacredness. I began to comprehend why our people treat our graves with such respect. We honour mortal remains that once carried life, that once contained souls. We honour that our ancestors are now in the ground. They surround us....the story is in the soil.
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.