my . artist run website  

Return to My Blog

Qatuwas Acrylic Mural--18'x10'

This is a mural I made with a Student, Sharon Wilson. It commemorates the Qatuwas Canoe Journey of 2014. This painting shows the four Heiltsuk crests, Raven, Eagle, Wolf, and Killer Whale paddling the canoe. The figure in the stern is the human, who, as steward of the land and sea, is in the steering positon. The background shows Denny Island and other land features of the territory in front of a sunrise, stars twinkling out, symbolizing the rising strength of the Heiltsuk people, as they pull (literally)together. 

The figures in the canoe might be humans wearing masks, or they might be transforming into ancestral counterparts--again meant as a strengthening process, or a part of the decolonization process.

The title "Qatuwas" (Canoe Journey) refers to an annual gathering of canoes from nations stretching from northern BC to Oregon. While it is often held in Washington state, the first gathering was held in Bella Bella in 1993, and then again in 2014.