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Released July 2012
For those of you that know me, I grew up obsessed with toys. Although I did play some video games later on in life, toys were my escape. I could and would entertain myself for hours. I would build, construct, setup and play. I would collect and, most importantly, I would imagine. It is this imagination--more so than any artistic talents or abilities--that has gotten me to where I am as an artist today.
Now, as an adult, I encourage kids to play--to not give it up so easily. Our society rushes kids too much nowadays. They’re encouraged to put down their toy guns and pick up real ones. They’re enticed to drop their dolls in order to apply their makeup. They’re teased and pressured to eschew their toys in favour of adult pursuits. For far too many, their imagination is cut short in a rush to be adults. I feel no shame that I continued to play and collect toys as a young teenager. I know that it is because of this that my imagination continues to overflow. With the pressures of modern life, it doesn’t get much better than that!
With my history with toys, I wanted to do a self-portrait of me as a mini-figure. On my head, I wear a ya̱xwiwe’ similar to one I recently carved and wear proudly when I dance the tla’sala. On my body is a copy of the tunic that I just finished painting. It was done in honour of my Hunt family ancestry. My granny’s great grandmother, Mary Ebbetts, or Anisa̱lag̱a was a chilkat weaver who married Hudson’s Bay worker Robert Hunt. He came over on the ship, the “Norman Morrison,” depicted along the bottom of the garment. He brought Anisa̱lag̱a from Fort Tongass to Fort Rupert--symbolized by the bastions on either side of the ship. Her main crest was the raven from the Drifted-Ashore House of the Tongass Tlingit. Their oldest son, George Hunt, became chief of the Sa̱ntłam through marriage until his son David was old enough. This is the "sun-beam" clan of the Kwag'uł and is represented by the ring around the neck. George's daughter, Emily, married into the Gigalgam of the Walas Kwag'uł whose original ancestor came down wearing a sun mask so the sun rays have dual meaning....
“Self-Portrait” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in July of 2012 and printed by Andy Everson at Copper Canoe, the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 109 prints bear the title "Self-Portrait” and are signed by Andy Everson: 99 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/99 through 99/99; 9 Artist’s Proof; and 1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures 11x17 inches. Image size measures about 9.5x15 inches.