“In the days before the city of Vancouver grew on the land of the Salish, the narrowing of the inlet now marked by the Lions Gate Bridge was an area that was teeming with schools of herring and the orcas that chased them for food. As the tide left and brought the herring back out to sea the orcas and other creatures would feast on the abundance of food. The area was rich with eagles and salmon, and rich with the culture and traditions of the Salish people. It was, and is, a site of great energy and enormous significance to the Salish.”
— Susan Point
The function of a blanket is to protect from the elements and it seems only fitting that this Pendleton blanket, Renewal, has been created as a means to raise funds to repair our beloved Stanley Park from the damage created by the powerful element of wind.
The design, featuring the churning activity of orcas as they hunt and feed below the surface of the water, can be seen as a metaphor for the mammoth amount of activity that will be taking place as the work to revitalize Stanley Park continues.
A long time ago the whales were the guardians of the inlet. The orcas living in the surrounding waters would patrol the entrance to the inlet, supervising the surrounding waters to guard against an invasion. This time the invasion came in the wind, and the whales, believed to be closely related to humans, symbolize the hard work required to make things right again.
Many believe that when great chiefs die they become whales. Great chiefs and great leaders are the essence of what is required to bring Stanley Park back to its original glory.
This Spirit World image is meant to reflect a constant Renewal which completes the circle of my Salish people. The spirit of our ancestors as well as the spirit of the whale, salmon and wolf people, including all animals that share our spirit world, remains in balance with the spirit of the land. In this image, the positive and negative spaces create each other through the implementation of the whale motif.”
— Susan Point
Although the original design was created specifically for release as a Pendleton blanket, it was first released as a limited edition serigraph, titled Spirit World. In the process of creating the design, Susan Point emphasized the balance of positive and negative space. Neither can exist without the other. Until we see darkness we cannot recognize light. This is all part of the ebb and flow of the tides that exist all around us and is a natural part of life. With Stanley Park the winds came, and we as a society will rise to the challenge to balance the darkness and destruction that briefly took over the park.
Burrard Inlet is an area of abundant natural wealth framed by the majestic rainforests of Stanley Park. We, as humans, are the orcas who walk on the land, and it is our responsibility to take care of this natural treasure.
This blanket rendition of Renewal is dedicated to the spirit of Stanley Park and will be sold by the Spirit Wrestler Gallery as a fundraiser for the work being done at the park. The Spirit Wrestler Gallery has generously donated their time and talent to host this wonderful evening for this very special cause. They have been loyal, dedicated supporters of Susan Point and her work for a great many years.