CONCRETE, BRONZE AND STONE
Salish Gifts is a series of four sculptural seating vessels created by Musqueam artist Susan Point using traditional symbols to celebrate her people’s culture and the importance of the Fraser River to the Musqueam. Original Coast Salish designs are cast into concrete baskets and bronze spindle whorl lids, which then rest on traditional reed mats represented by colourful stone tile.
The concrete baskets were inspired by traditional Musqueam basketry, which was often used as a story-telling art form. The baskets feature four motifs: Heron, Fishers, Sturgeon and Grasslands – the latter a reference to the Musqueam name, which means “People of the Grass.”
The warm bronze lids represent spindle whorls – flywheels once indispensable to native household weaving – with motifs of Salmon, Four Paddles, Welcoming, and Berries on Shoreline. Reed placemats, which were used for quick overnight shelter and bedding by natives travelling across their vast territories, are represented by Point’s contemporary interpretation with cut inlaid stone.
Susan Point is a highly acclaimed Coast Salish artist and descendant of the Musqueam people. Her unique works, which merge traditional Coast Salish arts with modern, non-traditional materials, has been credited with reviving Coast Salish art and design. Point is an Officer of the Order of Canada and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.
ABOVE: Original old growth cedar spindle whorl carvings, used to create the cast bronze lids for Salish Gifts, are on display at the office lobby at 450 SW Marine Drive.