In Xaayda Kil (the Southern Haida language), the word for baleen whale is, "Kun". Humpback, grey, and fin whales are a common sight around Haida Gwaii and thrill all who encounter them. A healthy population of whales is a reflection of a healthy marine ecosystem. Whales contribute to environmental health by increasing primary production, capturing and storing atmospheric carbon, and by providing nutrients to a wide variety of sea life upon death. In Haida philosophy, all living beings are considered equal and I am happy to be thought of on par with such magnificent creatures.
"Kun" is also the word for "point" or "bump" in Xaayda Kil. In this design, I've chosen to have the whale's dorsal fin (point/bump) breaking the water's surface in reference to this duality in meaning. The design elements in the light green area around the whale imply movement in the water and the prevailing ocean currents. I've used single line hatching to represent baleen in the whale's mouth and cross-hatching as the air bubbles released as it dives. The colour pallete was chosen to reflect the various colours and tones of the ocean. My intention with this print is to honour Kun.
whale rises from the sea
takes a breath
slipping back -
a fleeting gift.
- ljuuwaas, 2023
Dimensions: 16 inches tall x 30 inches wide
Material: Fine art paper, unframed
Limited edition: This is a limited edition art print with the artist's original signature. It was created in 2023 and only 80 pieces are available.
Meet the Artist:
Iljuuwaas or Tyson Brown is a Haida artist from Skidegate, Haida Gwaii. He is a member of the Kayahl'laanas clan of Ts'aahl. The grandson of artists Billy Stevens and Bill Reid, Tyson grew up surrounded by Haida art. He is a lifelong student and has completed a formal apprenticeship with renowned Haida artist, Robert Davidson. His artistic focus is on creating a relevant body of work, while preserving and perpetuating classical Haida design principles. Tyson is inspired by his people's history, culture, and worldview. He works in various mediums including design, paint, and sculpture.
Free Shipping to Canada & the USA:
For international shipping, an additional rate will be calculated at checkout.