Interaction consists of two posts connected with a crossbeam to form one structure. On one post, a woman stands on a base extending her arms and hands to the paws of a mountain lion emerging from a cave. The paws and hands symbolize the recognition and tolerance that animal and human have for each other. Between the woman and mountain lion, a copper dome mirrors their shared environment. The dome also reflects the house post immediately opposite. Point states that the human/animal relationship is a metaphor for the respect we must have for the world and our environment if we are to continue to survive.
Joining the two house posts is a connecting beam. In a longhouse, this beam would carry the rafters for the roof planks. As this is the highest point inside a house, celestial images are an appropriate embellishment. On one side of the beam is Xels, a being from the past who could fly and transform into any creature or object it wished. The other side of the beam features two eagles with a silver dome representing the full moon. Stars and a new moon adorn the top and bottom of the beam respectively. The second house post is a complex representation from the ocean. A killerwhale looking down from the top of the post has its tail curled up at the base. Two salmon arc as if to avoid the mouth of the killerwhale and at the same time balance on the top edge of a disk representing the sun. The sun is life, and the salmon egg within the sun, new life. Two herring are carved on the outer ring of the sun; two containers of valuables carried by the sun are indicated by copper disks. The whale’s tail at the base, carved with a shark’s-head motif, is designed as a seat. It is the artist’s intention that the individual who sits here completes the sculpture by connecting to the life cycle.
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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