Cranmer, Kevin - Tlatlakwu'lama'yi
ʼHead Pure Copperʼ
(Kevin Daniel Cranmer)
‘Namgis and 'Mama̱liliḵa̱la artist T̕łat̕łakwu’łame’ was born at ʼYa̱lis, British Columbia. His father was the late Danny Cranmer, son of Chief Dan Cranmer of the ‘Na̱mg̱is and Agnes nee Hunt from the Kwagu’ł (Fort Rupert). His mother is Lily Erford nee Flanders from the 'Mama̱liliḵa̱la (Village Island). Kevin has lived all but four years of his life in Victoria.
Kevin traces his ancestry to many nations among the 'Mama̱liliḵa̱la, as well as to the Tłingit of Alaska. His first formal instruction came under the tutelage of his cousin Nas'u'niz (George Hunt Jr). He later worked with artists Chief Mup̓ankam T̕łakwadzi Nakap̓ankam (Tony Hunt Sr), Tony Hunt Jr, and Tlasuti'walis Tlakwagila (Calvin Hunt). Kevin’s introduction to larger monumental sculpture began when he started working with renowned Nuu Chah Nulth artist Tim Paul in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum.
Kevin’s works include several large co-operative projects: a 40 foot pole which stands in Stanley Park, Vancouver, a 36 foot pole carved for the closing ceremonies at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand. Most recently he has completed an elaborately carved and painted Chief’s seat for the newly rebuilt Big House at ʼYa̱lis. Cranmer has been initiated as a Hamat̕sa, the most important of the complex secret dance societies of the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw. He also creates pieces for commissions by families to use in traditional ceremonies. He continues to strengthen his culture by learning the songs of old and singing at Potlatches and gatherings.
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