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U014.3.254
Artist / Maker : Hunt, Calvin
Title : Three Killer Whales
Date (Execution) : 1998
Geographical Origin : Tsaxis (Fort Rupert); British Columbia; Canada
Cultural Group : Kwakwaka'wakw
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : Paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Three dorsal fins in green, blue and black with blue wavy lines in the top half of the image running horizontally. Beige border around the square composition of hands and faces.
Accession # : U014.3.254
Width (cm) : 61.00
Height (cm) : 48.50
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "At first glance, this Killer Whale designed by Calvin Hunt seems to be just that: a traditionally based Kwakwaka'wakw Kwagulth portrayal of a crest figure by the noted Kwagulth artist Calvin Hunt. But Calvin's print also humorously honours and teases the umpires of slow-pitch baseball, a sport he loves. Calvin's comparison of umpires to killer whales is more complex than it first appears. Up until very recently, no one ever bothered going to sea in rubber boats for the experience. Eagles soared, salmon jumped, the day was warm and clear, and so what? Our new understanding of killer whales changed all that. They bring a beautiful and majestic presence to marine life, and a sense of order, too. Who would bother to watch a baseball game if the players could get away with anything and everything? There are three umpires for a slow-pitch game, and the three whales here show only their dorsal fins. Most whale watchers see no more than that. What the whales do and see is mostly hidden beneath the waves. Similarly, the crowd at a baseball game never notices an umpire until he makes a decision - in other words, when he briefly surfaces before quickly disappearing from sight. But the umpires follow the game far more intently than any spectator in the stands. Visual puns of this sort abound in Kwagulth art. The traditional Kwagulth language, Kwakwala, readily lends itself to wordplay and puns, some of them quite pointed. Yet Calvin also thanks those who adjudicate his favourite past-time: the little men that form the border of this print are figures of welcome and friendship. Calvin created this print on behalf of the Port Hardy Umpires Association. Half of the edition will go to the Blue Umpires Convention, to be held in Vancouver in 1999." - John McKillop (Pacific Editions)