Susan Point’s mesmerizing Looking Forward was inspired by a spindle whorl discovered in the Fraser Canyon area above Yale. Believed to have been created around 800 a.d., the original piece was carved out of steatite, a stone native to the area. Point has brought her own style to the piece, which features an eddy of eyes emanating from the centre where the spindle attaches. If this piece were to be spun, as the original must have been, the effect would be both dizzying and exhilarating at the same time.
In much of Point’s work, the eyes in both humans and animals are the same, making the nature of the creature(s) in this piece a carefully placed mystery. Is it humanity looking forward? Is it nature assessing the future of humanity? Does it matter? The only meaning Point will reveal is that the piece represents “looking toward our future.” For Susan Point, a piece begins with a thought, but the process of creating the piece to where she is happy with the outcome allows for that original thought to evolve along with the meaning. “So,” she explains, “some pieces that I do have more than one meaning to me.” In the end, though, the individuals who view any work of art must come to their own understanding of what a piece means to them.
—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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