This is the life! A frog basking carefree on a lily pad. Not all of Susan Point’s pieces delve into personal, political or social issues. Some, like this delightful piece, are just fun. For Point, this frog was not created for traditional or spiritual reasons, rather, as she states, “just because I love doing frogs.” In keeping with the visual language of the Coast Salish that Point interprets so deftly, the frog in the philosophical sense just “is.”
“All I can do,” she says, “is express my feelings and hope the viewer enjoys the piece for what it is.” Frogs have played a significant role in Point’s upbringing and knowledge of the world, acting as a vocal reminder of the turning of the seasons. In a reversal of relationships, this piece, a mixture of glass and wood, is actually a pun. Instead of the lily pad providing camouflage for the croaking amphibian, here the oversized frog, carved in the shape of the lily pad, provides camouflage. Subtly carved out of yellow cedar and then painted, the frog, craftily hiding the pad below, is surrounded by water made of cast bronze glass, which has frog’s eggs incorporated into its design.
—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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