Giclee Edition 99 Released January 2009
We often take it for granted the magic that happens after we close our eyes. No matter if it takes place after long hard days of work or after sessions of play, our body has an extraordinary ability to send us off to another world. We drift off to a land of excitement, of terror, of pleasure and of pain. We visit the past and enter the future. We meet strangers and friends and see people that have long since gone from our mortal world. We travel to far off places, beyond the clouds and into another world. When we fall asleep we enter dreamtime.
While we’ve all, no doubt, had many interesting encounters while sleeping, I think our ancestors understood how to engage their dreamtime better than most of us can possibly imagine. One day a number of years ago, my grandma’s younger sister, Nunu, got very sick. When told, my grandmother got extremely upset and made it clear to my mom that she desperately wanted to be with her sister–several hundred kilometers away. She said that she wanted to climb into bed and cuddle with her to make her sibling better. She went to sleep sobbing. When she woke up in the morning, she was a new woman–she was happy and content. My mom later talked to her cousin and his wife on the phone to see how Nunu was doing that morning. They said that she had had a horrible sleep as Nunu insisted that her sister Maggie was hogging the bed all night!
To me, dreamtime is one way that we can briefly pull ourselves away from this mortal world. We journey up and through those clouds unknowing what is over the horizon. We take a journey without leaving our beds. I really feel that we need to cherish our dreams as a gift. Whether you believe that they are gifts of the Creator or of your subconscious mind, there is no doubt that dreams are important to all of us.
Andy Everson was born in Comox, BC in 1972 and named Na̱gedzi after his grandfather, the late Chief Andy Frank of the K’ómoks First Nation. Andy has also had the honour of being seated with the ‘Na̱mg̱is T̓sit̓sa̱ł'walag̱a̱me' name of Ḵ̓wa̱mxa̱laga̱lis I'nis. Influenced heavily by his grandmother, he has always been driven to uphold the traditions of both the K’ómoks and Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw First Nations. In this regard, Andy has pursued avenues where he can sing traditional songs and perform ceremonial dances at potlatches and in a number of different dance groups, most notably the Le-La-La Dancers, the Gwa'wina Dancers and the K’umugwe Dancers.
Pursuing other areas of traditional culture has also led Andy to complete a Master’s degree in anthropology. Because the K’ómoks First Nation lies on the border between the larger Salish and Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw realms, his thesis focused on notions and expressions of contemporary Comox identity. His work in anthropology provided him with a background in linguistics which subsequently inspired him to create a company, Copper Canoe, Inc, that specialized in the creation of Aboriginal language media.
Andy feels that his artwork stands on par with these other accomplishments. Although he began drawing Northwest Coast art at an early age, Andy's 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 his Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw relatives in creating bold and unique representations that remain rooted in the age-old traditions of his ancestors. The ability to create and print most of his own work has allowed Andy to explore and express his ancestral artwork in a number of contemporary ways.