Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Salmon Woman


  • Medium: glass (blown and sand-carved), pounamu (New Zealand jade)
  • Size: 34.5 × 11.5 × 8 inches (incl. base)
  • Reference Code: PL70904

This sculpture is about the life cycle of the salmon and respecting the value of this most important food source to our people. Salmon Woman was the one who “owned” all the salmon, but it was Raven who freed the salmon from Salmon Woman. It is said that the salmon would travel each year returning to the woman who lived at the head of each river. The salmon are designed flowing from the hair and becoming the arms and legs on the body form.

Preston Singletary

The salmon design applies to the cycle of life — birth, growing, maturing and physical passing. These are all phases incorporated in the cycle and applicable to native people all over the world. The koru (rolled fern fronds) designs on the sculpture are symbols of the maturing stage when swimming can be hard against swift currents. This refers to the many difficult decisions in life choosing the right path to our ultimate destiny, completing the cycle of life.

Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Preston Singletary / Lewis Gardiner

Collaboration for the Fire & Water: Pacific Visions in Glass and Jade exhibition, 2007.

Collaborations between great artists are historically rare, despite frequent attempts and enthusiastic interest to bring technical skills and artistic chemistry together. In the end, it often seems that personal careers, distance, and other issues make these projects too difficult to realize. What makes this particular collaboration even more remarkable is that the two artists are geographically in different hemispheres — almost at polar opposites of the world.