Celebration of Life
‘Celebration of Life’ by Francis Dick – First Nations Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: No condition noted.
Description by Artist: ‘Celebration of Life’ – One day a young boy at the age of six came home crying hysterically because one of his friends had died. His parents consoled the young boy and said, ‘I know that you miss him and that you are sad, but you should also realize that you feel this way because you are a caterpillar; you are thinking like a caterpillar.’
“Why is that?” the young boy asked.
“When the caterpillar gets wrapped in its cocoon, buried by all that stuff, and if you were to open up the cocoon the caterpillar is no longer there. There’s lust all this mush and goo, and most people including the caterpillar, thinks it’s dying. But really, it beginning to transform. It’s going from one thing to something else. And pretty soon it becomes a butterfly. Can the other little caterpillars on the ground see that this caterpillar became a butterfly?”
The young boy answered, “No!”
“And when the caterpillar breaks out of his cocoon what does he do?”
The young boy answered, “He flies.”
“Yes, he gets out and the sunlight dries off his wings and he flies. He’s even more beautiful than when he was a caterpillar. Is he more free or less free?”
The young boy answered, “He’s much more free.”
“I think your friend has wings now. You see, it not for us to decide when somebody becomes a butterfly. We think it’s wrong, but I think God has a better idea when the right time is. Right now it’s winter and you want it to be summer, but God has a different plan. Sometimes we just have to trust that God knows how to make butterflies better than we do. And when we’re caterpillars sometimes we don’t even realize that butterflies exist, because they’re up above us, but maybe we should just remember that they’re there. “
The young boy smiled. “l bet my friend is a beautiful butterfly.”
This design speaks to creating a different perspective around death; it’s important for me to believe that this place called ‘earth’ is a place where I am to learn lessons, and to embrace life, and experience it as a gift given to me. In the bottom of the butterfly is a design which represents our humanness, and in death our transition into another dimension, represented in the butterfly. In the top of the design is the wolf which represents my family crest. This painting I dedicate to all of us who have lost loved ones, and to those who have passed over to another dimension. This painting is a reminder to me that life is a celebration.” – Francis Dick
Notes from DaVic Gallery: This limited edition silkscreen print titled “Celebration of Life” by Francis Dick was published in March, 2005. It was hand produced by the screenprinting process. It is the only limited edition printing of this design. The artist was involved in the printmaking, checking the stencils and signing each copy in the edition: 100 signed and numbered copies, 10 artist’s proofs, 10 Remarque’s and 1 printer’s proof. All other trial copies have been destroyed and the printing stencils obliterated.