Bios and CV
Marika Echachis Swan (Tla-o-qui-aht/ Nuu-chah-nulth) is a mother, artist, and community arts organizer of mixed Tla-o-qui-aht, Scottish, and Irish descent. Her main creative practice explores feminist Nuu-chah-nulth values through woodblock printmaking, often layered with other visual arts techniques such as carving, stencil, and photography.
Marika Echachis Swan is a mother and artist of mixed Tla-o-qui-aht, Scottish and Irish descent. Her main creative practice is woodblock printmaking, often layered with other visual arts techniques such as carving, stencil and photography. With no formal arts training, Marika has developed her own contemporary take on the iconic Nuu-chah-nulth aesthetic through mentorship, study and fearless experimentation. Her evocative work is a voice for Nuu-chah-nulth cultural values from an uncompromising, feminist perspective.
Currently based out of her home territory of Tla-o-qui-aht (surrounding Tofino, BC), Marika balances her creative practice with various community arts projects. For several years, Marika has been working closely with the development of the Carving on the Edge Festival creating an elevated platform to celebrate both the traditional and contemporary coastal carving arts. Through her work with the festival, Marika began developing a community led research project called The Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive, locating and documenting the vast bodies of ancestral belongings and materials from her community that are now held in various museums and institutions all over the world. In it’s current evolution, it hosts information on hundreds of belongings, audio recordings, archival photos and songs on a private database for Nuu-chah-nulth community members, creating a virtual space for shared ownership and knowledge sharing. Through this project, Marika is actively creating deeper connections with local culture keepers to stimulate community discussion and cultural revitalization. The Nuu-chah-nulth Living Archive works in partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht Repatriation Committee (of which Marika is a founding member) as well as various other local cultural education initiatives.
Through engaging with these ancestral treasures, Marika has studied traditional Tla-o-qui-aht form and style extensively. Following in the wake of artists like her father Joe David that took such sincere care in reviving the purity and perfection of classic traditional form, Marika continues to push the art form into new spaces. Still rooted in Nuu-chah-nulth world views, her work speaks directly to the stories that are relevant to her community now.
upcoming B.A.T. State III: Women Artists in Conversation with El Nopal Press, LA
currently Continuum: The Inuit Gallery at 40, Vancouver BC
currently Matriarchs, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria BC
currently 2018 YVR Art Scholarship Exhibition, YVR Airport, Vancouver BC
currently qaʔyexʷ Women and Waterways, Bill Reid Gallery, Vancouver BC
2019 Women Artists Changing Collections, Legacy Art Gallery, Victoria BC
2018 The Timing of Things, Legacy Art Gallery, Victoria BC
2017 Cultural imPRINT, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma WA
2015 Resurgence, Stonington Art Gallery, Seattle WA
2015 A Gathering of Spirits, Alcheringa Gallery, Victoria BC
2014 Interweavings, Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond BC
2013 Becoming Worthy, (Solo) Pacific Rim Whale Festival, Tofino BC
2009 Paper Tigers, Perel Gallery, Vancouver BC
2008 YVR Art Scholarship Exhibition, YVR Airport, Vancouver BC
2007 Crazymaking, Gallery Gachet, Vancouver BC