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Human Spirit

Susan Point, British Columbia

This piece tells the story of the Salish, linking them to their traditional lands and welcoming those who have chosen to visit and live in British Columbia. The artwork is intended as a tribute to the First Peoples of this area, and as a celebration of the human spirit. It represents people coming together, connecting, working and creating new ideas and vision - something that is integral to the makeup of the province as it is today.

The artwork is comprised of a series of panels of carved and painted cedar with a copper figure in the centre. These are materials found in the Northwest Coast - both copper and cedar are important within Salish culture.

A Salish Welcome
The human figures are simply drawn and universally recognizable, water-jet cut from 1/4" thick copper with a subtle applied patina. They represent the Salish, along with the many others who have chosen to make their home in British Columbia. Each figure has their arms outreached in a gesture of welcome, reflecting the Salish tradition of welcoming visitors.

A Tradition of Storytelling
The panels within this artwork are spaced throughout the corridor in a pattern inspired by Salish textile and basket weaving. Salish stories were passed on orally, and recorded through carving, textile art and basketry motifs. Each element within a weaving or basket has symbolic value, together forming an intricate design recording the history, journey and work of my people. When the panels are grouped together and seen in perspective (up close, as one walks past) this creates a sense of movement, echoing the woven form of a basket.

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