Kelly Cannell and Susan Point, The Gift, 2001, serigraph, ed. PP 2/2; Memory, 2005, etched glass and stainless steel; Transformation, 2005, etched glass and stainless steel. Gift of the Salish Weave Collection of George and Christiane Smyth, 2021. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

Kelly Cannell and Susan Point

The Gift, Memory and Transformation are three works created collaboratively by xwməθkwəy̓əm artist Kelly Cannell and her mother, artist Susan Point. All three works (one serigraph and two works in etched glass) are circular in their design. In using the circle form, the artists call up the form of the traditional Coast Salish spindle whorl. In historic Coast Salish society, wealth was accumulated and bestowed in the form of weavings for which the spindle whorl, which aided in spinning fleece into yarn, was essential. Coast Salish artists frequently use the circle motif to connect to their ancestors and enduring cultural practices.

The serigraph The Gift depicts three figures gathered around a glowing sphere, and demonstrates Point’s formidable skill at blending and bleeding colours: this technique is visible in the very centre of the print. Memory depicts the transformation of four frogs from eggs through to tadpoles. The design is etched in glass with four stainless-steel legs, and won a 2004 public art competition for the City of Vancouver’s storm-sewer covers. Transformation, also etched in glass, depicts plant and butterfly motifs, suggesting the metamorphosis of caterpillar to butterfly.

Kelly Cannell is a Coast Salish artist from the xwməθkwəy̓əm First Nation. Cannell works in various mediums such as printmaking, painting and glass. She is the daughter of renowned Coast Salish artist Susan Point and the sister of artist Thomas Cannell. Cannell and Point have collaborated on several works, while both having individual practices. She has a passion for glass and attended the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and The Glass Furnace, Istanbul, Turkey. Cannell expands on traditional themes and pushes boundaries of contemporary Coast Salish art.

Susan Point is a xwməθkwəy̓əm artist who was born in Alert Bay and grew up on the xwməθkwəy̓əm Indian Reserve. She studied collections of Coast Salish art at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC and the Royal BC Museum. Her work has been shown widely across Canada and was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2017. Point’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Vancouver Art Gallery and National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa). She has been recognized with an Indspire Achievement Award, a YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, a BC Creative Achievement Award, appointed lifetime member to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, selected to the International Women’s Forum, and was one of Vancouver’s 2012 Remarkable Women. She holds Honorary Doctorates from University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and Emily Carr University of Art and Design; is an Officer of the Order of Canada; and has been presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.