Indian Burial, Nootka Jock Macdonald, Indian Burial, Nootka, 1937.

Jock MacDonald


Chosen by: Marianne Nicolson, Artist


“This painting was done in 1937, the same year my mother was born. I used to come to the Gallery to look at this work. In its own melancholy way, it reminded me of my home in Kingcome Inlet. Many a time we have stood at the side of a grave in just such a moment. Old people, young people, men and women and children. That feeling would hang in the air: inevitability and the struggle to accept, both union and isolation in the pain of loss. I have carried that feeling into all of my own creations, a desire to make sense of it all and to do something pro-active to validate and ameliorate all of our struggles as native people. If I had not experienced such loss, I’m not sure I would be so driven to create something out of it.”


Jock Macdonald, Indian Burial, Nootka, 1937. Oil on canvas. Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Founders’ Fund. Photo: Teresa Healy.

Artist Marianne Nicolson’s work is in the permanent collection of the Gallery. Most recently, her work Baxwana’tsi: the Container for Souls was displayed as part of the exhibition In Dialogue with Carr. In the fall, Nicolson’s Umista: the Return of Something Precious will be one of the artworks in our anniversary exhibition, An Autobiography of Our Collection.

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