Agnes Seaweed Wisden
Agnes Seaweed Wisden was born in 1987, and raised in her traditional Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw territory in Alert Bay, B.C. Her lineage descends from creative cultural producers, and she has always been encouraged to pursue her gifts. She finds inspiration from community, culture, wilderness in the ocean and land, and enjoys sharing the best of all those perfect moments with those around. Agnes currently is a full time Silver Carver, and can be found in several museums and galleries throughout British Columbia. You can see most of her work at the Royal BC Museum, as well as the Port Hardy Museum.
Agnes has been given the honor of working alongside many talented and hardworking artist throughout her own artistic development. She found at each stage of her artistic path she came across the right mentors at the right moments. When 21, she moved back to her home town of Alert Bay and sat daily either at the U’mista Cultural Center learning about formline design, or at the carving shed with Beau Dick and Wayne Alfred taking in stories and advice that has carried her through her adult life.
After time travelling the globe she arrived at Emily Carr University and Design (ECUAD) in 2010 and was able to meet the Vancouver Indigenous artist who were making world class work in the city. Attending ECUAD also gave her access to the Aboriginal Gathering Place, where she developed community and gained a network of academic indigenous artists. By contributing to her university’s indigenous community, she co-curated their student art shows two consecutive years in the three years attending. At this time she was also working for Alano Edzerza, a talented and prolific Tahltan artist based in Vancouver, assisting with larger art projects and managing textile screen printing. Here Agnes developed business skills within the indigenous art market, and was encourage by Alan to develop a style within the industry.
Continuing on her path, Agnes currently has completed a year long mentorship with Master Silver Carver’s Norman, Paddy, and Alfred Seaweed. All silversmith carver’s with over 40’s experience who were originally taught by Lloyd Wadhams Sr. She now in 2019 has earned her first artist residency with Franklin Studio’s in Vancouver to work towards a metal arts larger project in metal jewelry design.
xalx̱angis ḵ’a tutu nusa
Di’ya d’łola wa̱da’sta ga̱n’wapex
Di’ya ḵwisała wits’pla
K’a̱s’wa̱li baku baku
Mirror, self reflection
Shooting stars to find a star to tell a legend
Dear one, my love, my water is cold
My love far away and not able to reach
Pack your things, meet your love today
Meet your love today
The Poem is about my journey to see reflections around me looking to find spaces for love and growth. Indigenous and non-Indigenous bodies at some moment need to talk to our spirit to help guide us in our lives. I find inspiration by making connections spiritually to my ancestor knowledge within.
My work like my poem focuses on traditional Kwakwa̱ka’wakw culture and its changing nature as a living culture. As an indigenous artist I see my role and reflection as a member of its evolution as I help to maintain its story for the next generations post-colonization. I love to explore Kwakwa̱ka’wakw traditions and ancestry in contemporary ways, and am ways looking to communicate my lived experience as someone who bridges two unique worlds. Using modern art principles I like to bring up issues around indigenous politics in a voice from within that comes from generations before me. I use my art as a way of creating community around me in a cerebrally and visually appealing way. Currently I create work through silversmithing, photography, poetry painting, and video/sound installations.