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Curator Spotlight: Marianne Nicolson’s Even Though I am the Last, I Still Count

Bee Mask by Dick Hawkins [MOA Collections A8240]. Photo by Jessica Bushey.

In the video conversation below, Jennifer Kramer, Curator, Pacific Northwest discusses her favourite installation from MOA’s collection with Karen Duffek, Curator, Contemporary Visual Art and Pacific Northwest.

Bee Mask by Dick Hawkins [MOA Collections A8241]. Photo by Jessica Bushey.

Waxemedlagin xusbandayu’ (Even Though I am the Last, I Still Count) was created by Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw Kwakwaka’wakw artist Marianne Nicolson in 2000. It consists of two framed paintings with photographic images of the artists’ family, and addresses the inherited prerogative of a Bee Dance in her community. The framed works are surrounded by a series of eight Bee masks made by Dick and Sam Hawkins in 1938.

These works are all displayed as an installation in the MOA’s Multiversity Galleries. Situated on an open platform, they demonstrate the ongoing connections between historical works and knowledge holders, and contemporary Indigenous communities.

Kramer and Duffek discuss how this work, with its emphasis on connection, is especially relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Works discussed: Waxemedlagin xusbandayu’ (Even Though I am the Last, I Still Count), Marianne Nicolson, 2000. MOA Collection Nb3.1494 a-b. Bee masks, Dick Hawkins and Sam Hawkins, 1938. MOA Collection A8238–A8245. View these works on MOACAT online.