Campus Library Art Tour

William Wasden, Jr.

Dragonfly and Bee

Limited edition, screen printed.

Dragonfly 162 of 299

Bee 161 of 299

Image size (approx.) 24 x 24 cm.

From the Artist:

"There aren't many stories referring to the dragonfly in our culture.  However, I do know that they are considered messengers in the insect kingdom.  I know of only one dance privilege that portrays this handsome creature; an insect kingdom dance owned by some relatives of mine.  During my travels last summer I had the opportunity to travel our traditional territories from one end to the other; it was then that I was visited by a beautiful cobalt blue and black dragonfly, which we call Mamak'wa in  our language.  Since that day I have been inspired to paint a box design and a hand drum with this awesome winged being, and this print to mark the occasion of one memorable summer."

"Our people have always respected the warrior insect Hamdzalat'si, the bumblebee, for reasons quite clear.  The sense of family and community and the unmatched flight, no matter their size.  I haven't designed a bee for many years, but after talking with one of my great teachers, hereditary chief Peter Cook, and wife, Irene, I learned that the wonderful dance of the bumblebee had been transferred to him for dowry from his beautiful wife.  The prerogative belonged to her family and came from their ancient history, to be carried into marriage, displaying their wealth in culture, to her groom.  I love Pete and Irene very much and can never repay their teaching and love; this print is dedicated to them and their giving family, displaying a rite that reflects their beauty and tradition. Gilakas'laLilaxwal."

About the Artist:
"William Wasden Jr. (Wak'analagalis) is a member of the 'Namgis of the Kwakwaka'wakw people, and is a descendant of the Alfred, Hunt and Cook families.  He can also trace his ancestry to the Tlingit of Alaska and the Mowachat of the West Coast. He has been initiated into the hamat'sa society, the highest ranking of the complex dance societies of the Kwakwaka'wakw.  His artisitic abilities have been refined through working with Chief Doug Cranmer, Don Yeomans, Bruce and Wayne Alfred and with Beau, Francis and Simon Dick.  Wasden's traditional influences include Bob Harris, Herbert Johnson, Mungo Martin, Willie Seaweed, Henry Speck and George Walkus.  Wasden works full-time at his art in a variety of media, and has a great interest in singing and in preserving the songs of his people."

Information supplied by the Ancestral Spirits Gallery, Port Townsend, WA.

Ancestral Spirits Gallery
701 Water Street
Port Townsend  WA  98368

Dragonfly and Bee are two of five pieces by William Wasden, Jr. donated by Norman and Louise Rose.  The others are titled Butterfly & Moth, and Loon.

Given to the University of Washington Libraries by Norman Jenisch Rose and Louise R. Rose