Mark Mickey was born April 5th 1956, and spent his first 5 years of life in a village called Hesquiaht, located about 40 miles north of Tofino on Vancouver Island. He and his parents then moved to Tofino where he spent most of his early life. Mark now lives back in traditional Hesquiaht territory, in Hot Springs Cove. Mark understands the Nuu-Chah-Nulth language and can sing some of their traditional songs.
Mark was inspired by both of his parents to pursue native art. His mother Caroline Mickey, is a basket weaver, and his father Charlie Mickey, is a wood carver, whom Mark learnt his trade. Over time he has also learned techniques from other carvers, and is now developing his own style. He has carved bowls, masks, spoons, bentwood boxes, talking sticks, and jewellery, as well as ceremonial masks and other items for the dances at potlatches.
“No matter what has happened to me, art has never left my mind. I still have a lot to learn…Sometimes, I like to carve things that are purely functional. I approach the finishing of each object with care, to not overdo the decoration or the painting. I like to let the grain of the wood speak. This is particularly true of my bowls, which I oil, but seldom paint or paint sparingly. I enjoy working to special order and can work in any size, any theme, and specific finishes. In all my work it is important for me to put something extra, no matter how much time it takes, because my art is me. I want to be able to respect my art, as I respect myself.”