Giclée Edition 99 Released August 2010
Sometimes conversations are really one-sided. I know I’ve been on both the giving and the receiving end at times. We’ve all been guilty of it: yammering on and on about things that may seem important to you at the time, but to your partner are taken as trivial. We talk excitedly as if the weight of the world rested on our very word. Meanwhile, our partners stare off into space and enter their own zone, waiting for the monologue to end.
In nature, we often witness this same phenomenon as ravens harass nearby eagles. The raven sits on its branch spewing out an endless string of caws while the eagle stares out looking down to the valley below. Sometimes it’s only the moon that gets to bear witness to this comical spectacle: G̱wa g̱wa g̱wa! as the eagle waits for the monologue to end.
Amongst my grandmother’s great-grandmother’s people, the Tlingit, you are either an eagle or a raven and you always marry someone from the opposite clan. I’m sure up in Alaska many an eagle has been put under the siege of a raven’s soliloquy. Sitting on a deck overlooking the magnificent scenery, one stares off into space while the other goes on and on and on. G̱wa g̱wa g̱wa! as the eagle waits for the monologue to end.
My family has both crests. There are times when I feel proud and majestic like the eagle and other times I feel like the pesky raven: G̱wa g̱wa g̱wa!
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.