“I’ve recreated this image from an old classic spindle whorl,” Susan Point explains. “I love to create new and contemporary imagery in my interpretation of Coast Salish style, but every so often I need to pay tribute to classical design—to grab on to the roots of my beginnings.”
As an artist, Susan Point has moved from the role of the apprentice to that of the teacher, and her works of art have grown from tiny pieces of elaborate jewellery to monumental installations. Point of Origin is a 2.1-m (7-foot) laminated spindle whorl carved out of red cedar featuring a school of salmon and a human form at its core. Based on a much smaller traditional whorl from centuries ago, this larger piece is perhaps a monument to the inception of Point’s artistic path, the origin of her education as an artist and the grand scale to which she has taken her ideas.
—Susan Point as told to Vesta Giles
Coast Salish (Musqueam)
Susan began making limited edition prints on her kitchen table in 1981 while working as a legal secretary. She received several early commissions, which established her reputation for innovative proposals and for completing projects on time, on budget and at the highest level. She took courses in silver, casting and carving, all of which led to monumental sculptures in mixed media, and she was the first Northwest Coast artist to work in glass. She continues to release a number of print editions each year, but her focus has been on commissioned sculpture.
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