In Northwest Coast mythology, the raven is often labelled the “trickster.” There are countless stories revolving around this majestic black bird. In many of them, the raven is portrayed as mischievous and always getting into trouble. If you are to look at a raven today, you can see these traits coming out. From using its curiosity to probe unknown items to flying circles around eagles merely to bug them, the raven is, indeed, a trickster.
Freestyle skiers, I believe, are the tricksters of the slopes. They approach moguls and jumps with an insatiable quest for doing the impossible. Daffys, Cossacks, Backscratchers, and Iron Crosses are common in their parlance. They fly through the air, contorting their bodies to turn in ways that look unnatural. Their knees absorb the pounding of the moguls as they make their way downhill. The freestyle skier is, indeed, a trickster.
I’ve chosen to include this print in the Spirits of Snow & Ice Collection which pays homage to the winter sports that take place in my hometown and all over much of British Columbia. The background image of the raven is done in respect of my Coast Salish ancestry and represents a spindle whorl design. The spindle whorl, I feel, is the perfect metaphor for weaving together our worlds.
The prints in this series bring together the four worlds present in our First Nations belief structure: The sky world represented by the dawning of a new day. The land world to which all the athletes in these images belong. The sea world evoked through the frozen waves of snow & ice. The spirit world guiding the athletes and giving them the characteristics of our sacred animals.
"Raven” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in January of 2010 and printed by Andy Everson at Copper Canoe, the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 221 prints bear the title “Raven” and are signed by Andy Everson: 200 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/200 through 200/200; 20 Artist’s Proofs; and 1 Printer’s Proof. Numbers 1 through 50 in the primary edition and all Artist’s Proofs are available exclusively in limited edition matched box sets containing all 10 prints of the Spirits of Snow & Ice Collection. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures 11x17 inches. Image size measures about 9.5x14.5 inches.