Kwakwaka’wakw / Tlingit Nations
Corrine Hunt is a member of the Raven Gwa’wina clan from Ts’akis, a Komoyue village on Vancouver Island. Her rich family history includes internationally renowned First Nations artists George Hunt, Henry Hunt, Richard Hunt and Tony Hunt, all of whom have been influential on her art. Uncle Norman Brotchie was also a significant teacher and mentor, introducing Corrine to Kwakwaka’wakw traditions and the art of jewelry-making.
Born in Alert Bay in 1959, Corrine’s paternal grandmother A’neesla’ga,’ a Tlingit noblewoman from Alaska, gave her the name ‘Killer Whale Scratching Her Back on the Beach’ in 1965. Since 1985 she has been creating contemporary art that reflects the themes and traditions of her First Nations Komoyue and Tlingit heritage.
Corrine’s work includes engraved gold and silver jewelry and accessories, sculptural installations such as totem poles, and custom furnishings in carved stainless steel and reclaimed wood, executed in a distinctively contemporary style all of her own. Working with the concept of living culture, Corrine is creating fine art objects that are both aesthetically pleasing and of practical use. She is interested in exploring unique ways to translate the traditions of her First Nations culture; “I want to show how both the First Nations people and the art have evolved,” she explains.
Corrine designed the logo for the World Peace Forum held in Vancouver, 2006. There were installations of her work at the Hilton Hotel, Whistler, and the Office for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
In 2009, she was a co-creator of the medals for the 2010 Olympic Games held in Vancouver. These featured her original designs of the Pacific Northwest Coast crest figures of the Killerwhale and Raven. Corrine’s artistic endeavours were recognized with the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2011. As well as her prolific art practice, Corrine is focused on mentoring First Nations artists and other creative practitioners in this present day, and continues to be a forceful supporter of the creative arts in British Columbia.
2021 | Kapiguxw’id: Iklegans dudakwo | Gathering: It’s good to see you [again].
September 25 to October 29, 2021
As a contemporary Indigenous designer, Corrine Hunt presents an inspired collection of artistic visions and experiences arising from her travels far away and her hub at home in this multi-media exhibition. Read more details here.
Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)
Reclaimed Red Cedar wood, Copper, Acrylic paint
In this whimsical, bentwood-styled cedar box, Corrine Hunt explores an essential component of Northwest Coast art – the ovoid form.
Traditionally, ovoids served as the visual centre of any First Nations design and are the point from which all other elements of the design emanate. While the box retains some aspects of this tradition, Corrine has dropped many of the other typical characteristic elements of Northwest Coast design, such as U-shapes, crescents, and fine lines. The end result is a simplified, yet boldly coloured take on the ovoid form, which was inspired by the mid-century modern graphic design style.
The imagery on this artwork includes an abstract depiction of clouds along each of the four sides as well as a Raven head on the top of the lid. As a member of the Raven Gwa’wina clan from Ts’akis, a Komoyue village on Vancouver Island, Corrine often uses depictions of the Raven to represent herself in her artwork. This particular artwork is no exception, hence the name, “My Head is in the Clouds” Box.
Sterling silver, Engraved
Lapis Lazuli in Bezel setting
Pendant Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.5″
Necklace Length: 24″
This amazing A̲bumpa Kwikw (Mother Eagle) Necklace was lovingly crafted by Corrine Hunt as a tribute to her late mother.
The grand pendant is divided into two components which, combined, take the form of a Copper Shield. The bottom portion of the pendant features a front-facing Eagle design, while the top portion is set with a stunning piece of lapis lazuli. Each of these components come together perfectly to produce a beautiful and stately jewelry masterwork.
While attending gem show in Tucson, Arizona, Corrine found this unique piece of lapis lazuli and immediately envisioned the top of portion of a copper shield. The opportunity to obtain a stone so perfectly suited to Northwest Coast art forms was impossible to pass up, so she purchased the lapis, as well as several other gemstones, with the intention of incorporating them into her 2021 solo exhibition – Kapiguxw’id: Iklegans dudakwo | Gathering: It’s good to see you [again].
While the shape of the stone reminded her of a Copper, the lapis itself reminded Corrine of her mother. According to the artist, she absolutely loved lapis lazuli – especially in jewelry. In fact, when Corrine received her paycheque from her very first job, the first thing she spent her hard-earned money on was a lapis ring for her mother. Her fondness for the stone is what inspired Corrine to create a necklace in her honour.
Sterling silver, 14K Yellow Gold, Engraved
As indicated by the title ‘Rising Sun’, this beautiful bracelet depicts the Sun rising on the horizon. Although the Sun is the most prominent figure, the bracelet also features stars, waves and the Moon. The stars can be seen in the background on each side of the Sun, while the waves are carved along the top of the bracelet. The Moon is carved into the bottom of the bracelet, with one half featured on each end of the band. According to Corrine, the figures on the bracelet have been positioned in a way that is meant to mimic the rotation of the Earth.
Reclaimed Plywood, Reclaimed Red Cedar wood, Acrylic paint, Mother of Pearl
While visiting an old village site, Corrine discovered a small piece of wood lying in the sand. As she examined it more closely, she realized that the wood had to be around 50 years old and was inspired to create something new from it.
Reclaimed Maple wood, Acrylic paint, Steel, Copper
Tɫabat’si (Copper Box) is an impressive large-scale piece that combines Pacific Northwest Coast history with contemporary artistic methods. The box is designed to look like traditional bentwood boxes, which were an innovative creation of the coastal Indigenous peoples that were used for a wide variety of utilitarian and ceremonial purposes. The imagery on the piece is depicted using classic formline and ovoid design principles, while the decision to incorporate copper was directly influenced by its historical importance across the region. Contrasting these more traditional design choices, the mediums and methods used by Corrine are highly contemporary, with the most obvious modern influence being the use of laser cut steel.
The main imagery on this box depicts the Raven as he dances with a Chilkat blanket on his shoulders. The opposite side of the box features the tail of a Killerwhale. The Raven and the Killerwhale are the two figures that Corrine identifies with most strongly, and at least one of the two can be found on the vast majority of her creations. The Chilkat blanket was a specialty of the Tlingit people, so its inclusion is a nod to that side of the artist’s heritage.
Reclaimed Maple wood, Acrylic paint, Steel, Copper
This unique stool features three prominent Northwest Coast figures in laser-cut steel: Raven, Wolf, and Killerwhale. This is Corrine’s first artwork depicting “Sea to Sky” imagery, which is a common theme in coastal Indigenous art.
Reclaimed Red Cedar plywood, Acrylic paint, Steel
This panel pays tribute to the artist’s Tlingit heritage. The style of the panel is modelled after traditional Chilkat blanket designs – particularly the blankets by Anislaga, a Tlingit noblewoman, master weaver, and revered matriarch from whom Corrine is descended. The figures on the panel are two mirrored Ravens.
With Kayleigh Barrs-Hunt
Sterling Silver, 14K Yellow Gold, Engraved
While Corrine Hunt often finds herself inspired by her ten-year-old daughter Kayleigh, this particular pendant is the result of a more hands-on contribution from both of them. One night, during a dinner outing, Corrine encouraged Kayleigh to try her hand at drawing her own design as they waited for their food. The final product was so lovely that Corrine decided to feature the design on a jewelry piece and include it in her show.
The design is a landscape scene depicting two mountains in the distance across a body of water, with the sun in the sky behind them. The mountains and sun in the top half of the pendant are reflected in the water across the bottom half. According to Corrine, the larger mountain is supposed to represent herself, while the smaller mountain represents her daughter.
The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.