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U998.7.36
Artist / Maker : Thompson, Art ; Tsa Qwa Supp
Title : Our Beginnings
Date (Execution) : 1997
Geographical Origin : Whyac, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Coast Salish, Cowichan, Nuu-chah-nulth, Ditidaht
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : [Circular picture. Red and black. Face at the top of the print. A hand on each side. Small stars through mid left to right.]
Accession # : U998.7.36
Width (cm) : 56.00
Height (cm) : 57.50
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grant, Purchased from the Collection of Vincent Rickard
Artist Statement : "Our Beginnings" is a rare print which was create by Art Thompson in two series; one is green and the other in sienna. The first edition, in sienna, was created as the logo to commemorate the 1997 North American Indigenous Games. Two years later Art Thompson donated the image of "Our Beginnings' to the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria. This was printed as the green edition. "Our Beginnings" originated as a crest design Thompson painted on his own drum. The circular design refers to this ceremonial drum and more importantly to the circle of life, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all life. "Our Beginnings" represents the connection to the environment and to traditions as symbolized by the prominent Eagle. Like the humans in the body and tail joint of this Eagle design, Thompson was of Eagle clan and was taught and guided by the elders of this extended family. There is reference to this idea of being born of Eagle in placing the two humans upside down. The humans and Eagle are interconnected. Both Eagle and Humans are transforming; a particularly appropriate design for the new era of understanding and growth epitomized by the new Indigenous Governance program at the University of Victoria. (statement provided by Cerry Mason appraisal)