Like many of Susan Point’s creations, Salmon Gathering reflects the symbolic nature of four. The asymmetrical design features four salmon heads set in deep relief, referring to their four-year cycle of life, the four seasons that govern those years and the activities involved in Coast Salish traditions. The salmon portrayed in this sculpture are heavy and solid, a sure indication of their prominence in Salish culture.
“The salmon,” Point explains, “are considered fortuitous to many First Nations and, in some cases, a key component of our way of life, whether gathering to celebrate and feast or to barter for essentials.” Cast in bronze, this smooth and powerful whorl spreads 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) in diameter. It has been produced in a limited edition of three, each featuring a different patina and a different method of presentation.
—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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