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FRANCIS DICK

Kwakwaka’wakw artist Francis Dick was born in 1959 and is Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw of Gwa’yi (Kingcome Inlet). She is descended from the supernatural Wolf, Kawadelekala, who transformed to become the ancestor of the Kingcome people.

 

Dick spent most of her childhood in ‘Yalis (Alert Bay), then moved to Victoria to pursue a career in social work at the University of Victoria. She soon realized that her calling was to continue honoring her culture through her artistic gift.

 

The majority of Dick’s work embodies her ancestry, directly acknowledging Kawadelekala and her personal family roots. Her artistic body of work is comprised of mainly paintings and prints, though she is also a proficient jeweler, drummer and singer.

Francis Dick wrote and produced a ceremonial performance at Newcombe Theatre in Victoria. “Wi’woma: Honouring the Spirit of Women” was performed several years concurrently, due to ongoing demand and praise. 

 

Dick has shared her work beyond Canada, doing lectures at the University of Berlin, and holding art exhibitions around the world, including a permanent exhibit at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. Her paintings have been featured in books and calendars worldwide, as interviews have been in local and international publications.

 

If you are in the Victoria BC area between now and June 2017, you can see one of Dick's interactive exhibits, which is part of an uplifting and important show "Our Living Languages," - an informative exhibit outlining the language revitalization that is transforming many communities from within, and deepening the understanding among non-indigenous Canadians about our grim and hidden history. Dick's piece invites the reader to learn some words in Kwakwala - a language she speaks fluently and also teaches.

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