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 Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint, Stone, Cockle Clamshell
This enchanting sculpture is carved from a half-round of reclaimed yellow cedar wood, which Corrine Hunt has left partially untouched so as to retain the organic shape and look of the wood. The clamshell in the Eagle’s mouth and the stone that was used for its eye were both taken from the beach in front of her house, which is a popular spot for Eagles. Corrine was inspired to create this sculpture as a result of all the time she has spent watching these beautiful creatures as they collect and eat the clamshells.
Reclaimed Red Cedar wood, Reclaimed Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
According to Corrine, this uniquely quirky sculpture is meant to embody the consternation and amusement that she feels when confronted with “weird, funny, or uncomfortable” questions during conversations with individuals who are ill-informed or unfamiliar with Indigenous history, culture, and identity. The artist often takes these questions in stride, as she believes that they present a wonderful opportunity to educate people and help them gain a more comprehensive understanding of important topics and issues regarding Indigenous communities. Although Corrine is happy to take advantage of the open door these situations present, she admits that she still experiences the initial bewilderment that follows such questions, often thinking to herself, “Are you kidding me!”.
Reclaimed Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint, Abalone shell
Raven & Light: 17 x 7.25 x 1.5
Buddha: 17.25 x 8.25 x 1.75
Corrine Hunt’s uniquely refreshing Raven & Buddha, Side by Each Panels is carved from a half-round of reclaimed yellow cedar wood, which Corrine Hunt has left partially untouched so as to retain the organic shape and look of the wood.
She has chosen to use primary colours for these pieces due to her own fondness for brighter shades. Her designs were inspired by the Bauhaus aesthetic – a straightforward, abstract style that favours linear and geometric forms. According to Corrine, Raven and Buddha are two creatures that are very dear to her heart. She believes the two belong together, hence their pairing in this sculpture.
Reclaimed Yellow Cedar wood, Acrylic paint, Copper [Engraved]
“Ethnology of the Kwakiutl, Based on Data Collected by George Hunt -Part I.” by Franz Boas
Grandpa George, Numas is a fascinating portrait piece that Corrine Hunt created in honour of her great-grandfather, George Hunt. Many of George Hunt’s most distinctive features are depicted on the piece – including, most notably, his full-bodied mustache and big blue eyes. Numas is Kwak’wala for “Old Man,” which is how the Hunt family affectionately refers to their former patriarch. He lived to be 79 years old, which was quite impressive for his time.
Corrine Hunt’s sculpture is carved from a half-round of reclaimed yellow cedar wood, which the artist has left partially untouched so as to retain the organic shape and look of the wood. The eye of the sculpture features a miniature copper shield with several Kwak’wala words engraved on the surface. These words are excerpts from Ethnology of the Kwakiutl, Based on Data Collected by George Hunt – Part I, which was edited by Franz Boas and contains extensive information regarding the lifestyle, culture, and customs of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples and their communities. While the book that accompanies this piece was published in 2011, the original ethnological text was first featured in the Thirty-fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1914.
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.