Dionne Paul (Ximiq) is a Coast Salish and Northwest Coast artist from the Nuxalk Nation and Sechelt Nation. She is a member of the Eagle Clan and her ancestral name is Ximiq and translates to the first eyelash of sunlight that comes over the mountain to greet everyone in the morning.
Ms. Paul grew up on the Sunshine Coast within the Sechelt Nation territory. She was adopted from the Nuxalk Nation and holds both close to her heart. As a child Ms. Paul loved to compose songs, choreograph dances, write and perform plays, play instruments, design costumes, invent board games and create beautiful things.
Her first West Coast art instructor was Bradley Hunt in grade three and in grad 10 she moved to Bella Coola to study Nuxalk art and language. Although her stay was short, she immersed herself in Nuxalk 2D art, language classes, singing, dancing, storytelling, ceremonies and regalia making.
After high school graduation, she spent a few years in Sto:lo Nation territory where she learn to spin wool with June Quipp. During her first year at Emily Carr University the First Nation’s Coordinator Brenda Crabtree introduced her to weaving wool on a loom and free hand cedar weaving.
After graduation she continued to refine her skills as a weaver and attended a weekend weaving workshop with Chief Janice George and her husband Buddy George. Ms. Paul is a self taught cedar hat weaver.
Ms. Paul’s intentions with her weavings are to raise the status of weaving from craft up into the realm of fine art. She also revels in pushing the boundaries of the notion of traditional form through: colour, size and/or functionality.
Painting has been a tool in her tickle trunk for many years and she has worked in: watercolour, ink, acrylic, spray paint, airbrush and natural dyes. Although she loves working within the structure of Coast Salish form line and design, she also feels confined and often constricted and searches for the periphery and beyond. Ms. Paul has expressed ideas such as love, sex, addiction, abortion, death in contemporary and abstract in her paintings.
While still at Emily Carr University Ms. Paul had a dream about a human figure in stained glass speaking to her about residential school and when she woke up tears were streaming down her cheeks and she got up and painted it as she seen it in her dream. Later that day she attempted to find a stained glass instructor to teach her how to create works in glass. This proved to be a struggle that took many years, as this art form appears to be a white male dominated profession and she was shunned at even turn. Three years after her residential stained glass dream she seen an ad in the Sechelt Nation newsletter regarding a stained glass workshop with Susan Furze, she was the only band member to sign up. Ms. Paul another creative release working in glass and creating transparent works of art.
Ms. Paul is married to William Baturin and they have five children. Mr Paul is currently making, teaching and living art on the Sunshine Coast.
Dionne's work has been published in the following books:
In the video below, Dionne discusses her work.