I was first introduced to printmaking by Secwepemc artist Tania Willard, who continues to inspire me in the way that she uses her creative power to connect community and give visual voice to Native perspectives. Many years later when I had completely worked myself into the ground, I returned to woodblock printing as an attempt to recenter myself. I moved back home and began a series of blocks exploring my people and our natural and supernatural relationship with whales.
This is a series of photos from a printing session we did at Whaler's Bay on Galiano Island hosted by a dear friend Jeremy Crowle who was caretaking a Charles Brand etching and printmaking press that had retired from the UBC fine art program. The print shown being printed is a part of the Becoming Worthy series and can be viewed completed in the shop - Deep in Our Bones
I had been working on my woodblock series for quite a few years when I was approached to be the poster artist for the local Pacific Rim Whale Festival. It appeared to be the perfect timing to share the story I had been weaving about our intense and spiritual relationship with our whale neighbours.
Conceptually I knew I wanted to show the relationship Tla-o-qui-aht have with whales through song with a drum. I thought long and hard about who should be holding the drum and decided to ask a local two-spirited teen Jorge Estrada. It is so important that we begin to honour our community members who fall between the gender norms again. Their role as communicators and embodiments of truer balance is vital to our community health. It is totally fitting to me that people look at the final design and some see a woman and some see a man. There is a little bit more written about this piece in its final form here - Following the Sacred Heartbeats
Below is a slideshow showing a little bit of my creative process.
In January 2013 my dad, Joe David and I road-tripped down to LA to visit his dear printmaker friend Francesco Siqueiros. Francesco or "Homes" runs El Nopal Press in the bowels of downtown LA. His beautiful demeanour and professional shop treated us to a first class printing experience. During my time with him I was able to print a short run of Becoming Worthy and My Modern Hunter. Here are a few captures from our time with Homes. You can read more about these prints in my online shop - Becoming Worthy and My Modern Hunter