Beau Dick and the Ceremonial Art of Potlatch

I will be giving an online talk about the art of Beau Dick for the The Last Tuesday Society at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 19th January. Tickets are available here.

A hereditary chief and master carver from the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw) First Nation, Beau Dick was one of the most prominent and influential First Nations artists before his untimely passing in March 2017. His powerful sculptures, firmly rooted in the ceremonial culture of his ancestors, bridge the worlds of contemporary art, the potlatch traditions of the First Peoples of the Pacific North West and environmental activism.

Beau Dick and the Raven Transformation Mask Danced at the inaugural potlatch of Chief Alan Hunt, Fort Rupert, September 2016 (Courtesy Grégoire Dupond)

In the talk I will discuss Beau’s work in relation to the gift-giving, title-conferring and theatrical ceremonies that connect several First Nation groups in the Pacific Northwest, the legends behind some of his most powerful works and Beau’s copper-breaking actions against the Canadian government in 2013 and 2014