background image
Richard Hunt

My Family

This wall plaque is 10ft x 7ft x 2.5inches, first growth red cedar. It's oiled with boiled linseed oil. All the figures here are from my culture.   If you came to my village, at Fort Rupert, B.C to a potlatch you would see these figures danced. Two figures, the beaver and the otter are here because of the Harbour Air restaurants, the Flying Beaver and the Flying Otter, but they would be danced in the Dance of the Animal Kingdom along with the bear. There's an eagle in the middle standing on a copper with its wings out -stretched, the eagle in the main crest of my people from Fort Rupert. On each side of the Eagles' face are two eagles with their heads looking up. The top left corner is a moon rising. Below the Eagles' wing on the left is an eagle holding a salmon. The salmon is a staple food with our people.  On the right, under the wing, is a thunderbird with a killer whale.  Killer whale is the favourite food of the thunderbird. There's a moon in the blowhole of the whale and a hawk man on the whale's tail and a raven on the side fin. 

I call this work, "My Family" and it is proudly displayed in the new Harbour Air Seaplanes Terminal, Victoria, B.C., May, 2016

Richard Hunt

Richard

I try to remember to thank our ancestors for keeping our traditions and culture alive.  They went through a lot of hardship for us.  The main influence in my artwork came from my father, Henry Hunt, as well as from Willie Seaweed's work.  These are the people who turned our works from being considered a craft to being regarded as historical art.  I believe the time has come to recognize our works as cultural property.

When I make something, I am claiming the rights to it for myself, and at the same time for our children and all  Kwakwaka'wakw people.  They are the ones who really own it.

I was thirteen when I decided that I wanted to be a carver.  My brothers and I had gone berry picking in Saanich to make money.  I dreamt of berries all that night, and woke up the next morning knowing that I wanted to be a carver like my dad.  My mother told me to go and learn from my father, and that's how I started, making little paddles and masks.  It was a hobby that turned into a way of making an income through my school years.  The more I carved, the more I realized that what I was carving came from my culture.  That is why I believe that what I create is cultural property and it is my job to educate the public about my culture as much as I can to keep it alive.

        to commission an artwork please call Richard at 250-889-1423 or via email richard@richardhunt.com