Accueil > Sources historiques > Base de données bio-bibliographiques historiques sur les artistes canadiennes > DIESING, Freda

Base de données d'artistes


Prince Rupert, British Columbia, 1925
Terrace, British Columbia, 2002
Notice biographique
Freda Diesing, aka Kant Wuss, Skill-kew-wat & Wee-hwe-doasl, was born in the Sadsugohilanes Clan of the Haida in British Columbia to Flossie and Frank Johnson. Her Haida name, Skill-kew-wat, translates roughly as Magical Little Woman. Diesing studied painting at the Vancouver School of Art, after which she developed an interest in her Haida heritage. At the age of 42, she undertook woodcarving apprenticeships under Tony Hunt, Henry Hunt, Bill Holm, Robert Davidson and Duane Pasco. Diesing’s ceremonial masks and totem poles, which often depict female forms and figures, led to recognition of Diesing's unique representation of Northwest Coast folklore. The artist’s textile works, including blankets and robes, also incorporate traditional First Nations forms and designs. In the 1970’s, Diesing began to explore silkscreen printing and was later commissioned for a wall mural by the Prince Rupert General Hospital. Diesing was an influential instructor at the ‘Ksan Indian Art School in British Columbia. For a number of years, she also taught an annual seminar in carving in Ketchikan, Alaska. As a teacher and as an artist, Diesing has inspired many, including artists Dempsey Bob and Donnie Yeomans. She has been instrumental in the revival of Northwest Coast art and has received numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award from the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and an honorary doctorate from the University of British Columbia in 2002. The City of Prince Rupert, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs in Ottawa, the National Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto have all collected Diesing’s works. A selection of her totem poles currently stands in Prince Rupert and Terrace, British Columbia.
Jewellery making
Wood carving
Kitanmax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art (Sous la direction de Robert Davidson; Bill Holm)
Vancouver School of Art
Lieux de conservation des dossiers et archives
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, ON - Resource Centre
Vancouver Art Gallery, BC - Library
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Toronto Reference Library, ON
Winnipeg Art Gallery, MA - Clara Lander Library
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
University of British Columbia Archives

Documents sur l'artiste
A Dominican Experience: Three Aboriginal Artists of Canada in the Dominican Republic. Ottawa: Om Niiak Native Arts Group, 1989.
The 4 Winds: Artists in Residence: Danilo Gonzalez, Freda Diesing, Peter J. Clair, Shirley Bear Dominican Republic: Altos de Chavon, 1988.
Vielfaches echo : zeitgenössische kunst zwischen den kulturen. Stuttgart, Germany: Verlag für moderne Kunst, 1998.
"Award-winning Aboriginal Carver Killed in Car Crash." Ottawa Citizen (7 Dec. 2002): A8.
"Diesing Honoured (Aboriginal Achievement Awards)." Herizons 16.3 (Winter 2003): 11.
"Haida Artist Was Celebrated for her Carvings." Globe and Mail (18 Mar. 2003): R7.
"The Record." Citizens Centre Report 30.2 (20 Jan. 2003): 48.
Acland, Joan Reid. "Freda Diesing." First Nations Artists in Canada: A Biographical/Bibliographical Guide, 1960-1999. Montreal: The Gail and Stephen A. Jarislowsky Institute, (2001): 108-110.
Acoose, Carolyn. "Changers: A Spiritual Renaissance." Muse 9.2 (Summer-Fall 1992): 86-87.
Anderson, Richard L. & Field, Karen L. eds. Art in Small-scale Societies: Contemporary Readings. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1993.
Arnold, Grant et al. Topographies: Aspects of Recent B.C. Art. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1996.
Baxter, Paula A. & Bird-Romero, Allison. Encyclopedia of Native American Jewelry: A Guide to History, People, and Terms. Michigan: Oryx Press, 2000.
Bear, Jeff & Jones, Marianne. "On The Trail of Property Woman." Ravens and Eagles: Haida Art. Vancouver: Moving Images Distribution, 2003.
Bear, Shirley. Changers: A Spiritual Renaissance Ottawa: National Indian Arts and Crafts Corporation, 1990.
Berlo, Janet C. and Ruth B. Phillips. Native North American Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Berlo, Janet Catherine. "Freda Diesing." St. James Guide to Native North American Artists. Detroit: St. James Press, 1998.
Carter, Alixe. " 'Ksan Means Skeena in Hazleton, British Columbia." Ottawa Journal (2 Nov. 1972).
Carter, Alixe. "Indian Artifacts at NAC." Ottawa Journal (2 Nov. 1972).
Government of Canada. Canadian Aboriginal Art at the Senate. Ottawa: Government of Canada, 2007.
Grip, Maja & Hurtig, Annette eds. Artropolis: Exhibition of Contemporary British Columbia Art. Vancouver: Artropolis, 1987.
Hall, Edwin S. Jr. and Blackman, Margaret et al. Northwest Coast Indian Graphics: An Introduction to Silk Screen Prints. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1981.
Hassett, Dawn and Drew, F.W.M. Totem Poles of Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert, British Columbia: Museum of Northern British Columbia, 1982.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Hill, Tom. Canadian Art '74. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1974.
Hill, Tom. "Vision and Virtuosity." Creation's Journey: Native American Identity and Belief. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Contemporary Indian Art of Canada. Hull, Quebec: 1986.
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. Hands of Creation: An Exhibition of Northwest Coast Native Art. Vancouver: Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, 1987.
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. Masks: An Exhibition of Northwest Coast Native Masks. Vancouver: 1989.
Jensen, Doreen and Sargent, Polly. "Responses: The Blanket Maker's Stories (Freda Diesing)." Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986.
Laurence, Robin. "Haida Glee: Transitions in Northwest Coast Art." Border Crossings 25.4 (Nov. 2006): 66-74.
Lester, Patrick D. "Diesing, Freda: Haida." The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Loeb, Barbara. Northwest Coast: Native American Art St. Louis: Craft Alliance Gallery, 1989.
MacKay, Marilyn. "Changers: A Spiritual Renaissance." Arts Atlantic 11.2 (Winter 1992): 34-36.
Macnair, Peter L. & Grenville, Bruce. Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1998.
Macnair, Peter L. and Hoover, Alan L. and Neary, Kevin. The Legacy: Continuing Traditions of Canadian Northwest Coast Indian Art. Victoria, British Columbia: The British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1980.
Matuz, Roger. St. James Guide to Native North American Artists. Detroit: St. James Press, 1998.
Mayer, Carol E. & Shelton, Anthony. The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2010.
National Museum of Man (Canada). 'Ksan, Breath of our Grandfathers: An Exhibition of 'Ksan Art. Michigan: National Museum of Man, 1972.
Pemberton, Kim. " 'Ksan's Frieda Diesing." Prince Rupert News (6 Aug. 1982).
Reno, Dawn E. Contemporary Native American Artists. Brooklyn, New York: Alliance Publishing, 1995.
Richardson, Letia. "Topographies: Aspects of Recent B.C. Art: The Ethnic Contribution to B.C. Art." Artfocus 5.1 (Winter 1996-1997): 8-12.
Slade, Mary Anne Barbara. Skilquewat: On the Trail of Property Woman: The Life Story of Freda Diesing. Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2002.
Stelzer, Ulli. Indian Artists at Work. North Vancouver: J.J. Douglas, 1976.
Stewart, Hilary. Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1979.
Stewart, Hilary. Looking at Totem Poles Seattle: Douglas & McIntyre, 1993.
Thom, Ian M. Challenging Traditions: Contemporary First Nations Art of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2009.
Vancouver Art Gallery. "Freda Diesing." Raven Travelling: Two Centuries of Haida Art. Vancouver: 2006.
Wood, Christy. "Maria Elfreda 'Freda' Diesing 1925-2003." Canadian Westcoast Art 2010
Wright, Robin Kathleen. Northern Haida Master Carvers. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2001.
Wyatt, Gary. Mythical Beings: Spirit Art of the Northwest Coast. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1999.
Wyatt, Gary. Spirit Faces: Contemporary Masks of the Northwest Coast. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1994.
Zepp, Norman. Two Worlds: Contemporary Canadian Indian Art From the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Regina, Saskatchewan: The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1985.
Zimmerman, Sarah. "Art & Soul: Northwest Program Transforms Lives." Northword (Aug. 2007)

Documents rédigés par l'artiste
Diesing, Freda. "A Moon Mask." National Indian Arts and Crafts Series. National Indian Arts and Crafts Corporation, 2002.
Diesing, Freda. "Haida Button Blankets." Robes of Power: Totem Poles on Cloth. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986.
Diesing, Freda & Corbett, Elnore et al. Orientation to Southeast Alaska. Ketchikan, Alaska: Ketchikan Indian Corporation, 1981.

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