Coast Salish Prints

Located at the 6000 level AQ, near the Office of the Dean. Images courtesy of the Salish Weave Collection/Janet Dwyer.
Located at the 6000 level AQ, near the Office of the Dean. Images courtesy of the Salish Weave Collection/Janet Dwyer.
Located at the 6000 level AQ, near the Office of the Dean. Images courtesy of the Salish Weave Collection/Janet Dwyer.
Located at the 6000 level AQ, near the Office of the Dean. Images courtesy of the Salish Weave Collection/Janet Dwyer.

Title/Date: Sun, Salmon, Frogs and Ravens 2007
Artist: LessLIE
Culture/Language Group: Coast Salish (Cowichan, Penelakut and Esquimault)
Media: Serigraph: Ink on paper
Credit Line: SFU Art Collection, Gift of George and Christiane Smyth, 2010

Title/Date: Conservation, 2007
Artist: Chris Paul
Culture/Language Group: Coast Salish (Saanich, Tsartlip Nation)
Media: Serigraph: Ink on paper
Credit Line: SFU Art Collection, Gift of George and Christiane Smyth, 2010

Title/Date: Answer to the Call, 2004
Artist: Maynard Johnny Jr.
Culture/Language Group: Coast Salish (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Media: Serigraph: Ink on paper
Credit Line: SFU Art Collection, Gift of George and Christiane Smyth, 2010

Title/Date: Salish Community, 2007 
Artist: LessLIE
Culture/Language Group: Coast Salish (Cowichan, Penelakut and Esquimault)
Media: Serigraph: Ink on paper
Credit Line: SFU Art Collection, Gift of George and Christiane Smyth, 2010

Context:

The above serigraphs are a part of Salish Weave Box Set I – a portfolio of nine original limited editions of 50 serigraphs collected from 2004-2008 and gifted to Simon Fraser University in 2010. They represent three of the four prominent Coast Salish artists that were commissioned by the Salish Weave Collection for this project. Its purpose is to demonstrate that the passion for the art of our region can translate beyond collecting and decorating to sharing and educating.

In LessLIE’s first image, he describes the sun design, specifically the inclusion of the raven, as reflecting the visual pun and interconnectedness of the world. Overall, the sun, salmon, frog (half-frog/half-human) and raven represent life on earth.

Conservation focuses you in on the center and draws you to the importance of the salmon and concern for their future, not just on a year by year basis, but for the next generations. The salmon is symbolized as the provider of life.

Answer to the Call depicts thunderbird carrying killer whale, with a skull on top of thunderbird. “There is an old story from the Cowichan area where Killer Whale gets caught in the bay and is eating all the salmon before they go up the river. People in all the villages along the river are starving and dying because there is no salmon coming up river to fish and feed on. The people call upon Thunderbird to come and take Killer Whale away. The skull symbolizes those that were lost to starvation. Thunderbird is the actual answer to the call for help. When Killer Whale is taken away the fish come back up river and the villagers can feed themselves.” – Maynard Johnny Jr.

Salish Community:  The significance of this design is that it is both traditional and contemporary. The traditional aspect comes from the circular spindle whorl design that contains four faces. The number four represents wholeness and balance. Salish Community has to do with differences in communities past and present and depicts traditional and contemporary realities. On the one hand, family is traditionally very important and valued in Salish communities. On the other hand, the image expresses the contemporary importance of native issues, internalized racism, nepotism, band office politics and issues that divide communities. This is a reality I see in my own community; a division between traditional and non-traditional values.” - LessLie

The four Coast Salish prints are located in the northeast corner on the 6th floor of the Academic Quadrangle (AQ).

Additional Information - Coast Salish Prints

Screen, serigraph or silk-screen printing is a process that involves the pulling of ink through a stenciled screen. Originally this was done with silk, but nylon is now commonly used. A design is transferred using a photosensitive emulsion that blocks all areas of the screen, except for the design, when exposed to light. Where the light hits, the emulsion forms a solid layer. Emulsion over areas lacking light remains water soluble, allowing these areas to be washed off so the ink can then be pressed through the design onto the desired material.

First Nations artists began producing silkscreen prints in response to the commercial successes that non-First Nations artists were seeing with their appropriation of First Nations culture. Though traditional art was suppressed by various tools of colonialism, there were many early artists, such as Mungo Martin, a distinguished Kwakwaka'wakw carver, that influenced the development of silkscreen design through other mediums. 

The Salish Weave Collection is a private collection of contemporary Coast Salish art that weaves together the distinctive forms and designs of established and emerging artists. The collection has travelled to various museums and galleries throughout the world.

http://www.salishweave.com/

Artist Information:

LessLIE is a Coast Salish artist from Duncan, BC. He draws on traditional iconographic elements, while inventively intertwining his art with contemporary texts: http://salishweave.com/sw2017/artists/lesslie

Chris Paul is a memeber of the Tsartlip Band of the Coast Salish peoples located near Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island. As a member of the Saanich Nation, Chris’ style is a unique, refreshing combination of traditional and contemporary aboriginal design deeply rooted in a family and culture that knows and understands man’s position in his family, his community and his natural surroundings. http://www.chrispaul.ca/artist/index.htm

Maynard Johnny Jr. has inherited a blend of traditions as he is of both Kwakwaka’wakw and Coast Salish decent. While versatile in mutiple medias, Johnny has focused on printmaking for the past decade. He tries to maintain a contemporary vision of traditional legends. https://www.facebook.com/salishman/

Sources:

The Salish Weave Collection. Salish community. Web. http://salishweave.com/sw2017/gallery/lesslie/salish-community

The Salish Weave Collection. Sun Salmon Frogs and Ravens. Web. http://salishweave.com/sw2017/gallery/lesslie/sun-salmon-frogs-and-ravens

University of Victoria Art Collections. Answer to the Call. Web http://uvac.uvic.ca/gallery/cornett/artwork/answer-to-the-call/ 

University of Victoria Art Collections. Conservation. Web. http://uvac.uvic.ca/gallery/cornett/artwork/conservation/

University of Victoria Art Collections. Salish community. Web. http://uvac.uvic.ca/gallery/cornett/artwork/salish-community/

University of Victoria Art Collections. Sun Salmon Frogs and Ravens. Web. http://uvac.uvic.ca/gallery/cornett/artwork/sun-salmon-frogs-and-ravens/

Willard, Tania. 2013. Unlimited Edition. The Kamloops Art Gallery.