VANOC Announces Corrine Hunt as Co-Designer of the Olympic & Paralympic Medals
Thursday, October 15th, 2009
Making the 2010 Winter Games medals was a two-year project because they’re so unique. It was a collaborative effort between Canadian Aboriginal designer/artist, Corinne Hunt, internationally renowned industrial designer, Omer Arbel, the Royal Canadian Mint, Teck Resources Limited, and VANOC’s in-house design team. The blueprints for these medals are based on two large master artworks (Olympic and Paralympic) from which each of the medals was hand-cropped. No crop is the same as another so that ensures every medal is unique. The master artworks were created by Corrine Hunt, a Vancouver, BC-based artist of Komoyue and Tlingit heritage. Hunt chose the orca as the motif for the Olympic medals, and the raven as the motif for the Paralympic medals.
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Nugwam Gelatleg’lees – killer whale scratching her back on the beach. This is the name given to Corrine by her paternal grandmother, Abusa, in 1965.
Born in Alert Bay British Columbia in 1959, Corrine has been creating contemporary art that reflects the themes and traditions of her First Nations Komoyue and Tlingit heritage since 1985. Corrine’s works include engraved gold and silver jewelry and accessories, custom furnishings in carved stainless steel and reclaimed wood, modern totem poles and other sculptural installations. A member of the Raven Gwa’wina clan from Ts’akis, a Komoyue village on Vancouver Island, Corrine’s rich family history includes internationally renowned First Nations artists Henry, Richard and Tony Hunt, all of whom have influenced her art. Uncle Norman Brotchie was also an early teacher and mentor. Corrine too has mentored First Nations and other artists and continues to be a strong and vocal supporter of the arts in British Columbia.
From the beginning of her career engraving rings, bracelets, pendants and broaches, Corrine has searched for unique ways to bring the stories of her First Nations culture to contemporary life. “I want to show how both the First Nations people and the art have evolved,” she explains. In that process, she is continually inventing and reinventing stories from her culture, honouring her roots and cultivating a refreshing artistic expression at the same time. The results are extraordinary pieces that are both ageless and contemporary. The engravings are not overly ornate; like poetry, they convey their message using as few lines as possible. Similarly, the custom furnishings combine materials that speak to old and new, and bring the concept of living culture into contemporary homes. Corrine began designing furniture and other installed art pieces in part because in First Nations households , adorned furnishings are part of daily life. Objects in the home are not only beautiful, they are also practical and infused with cultural significance.
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