Liam Paul, Transformation, 2013, giclee, ed. 6/30. Gift of the Salish Weave Collection of George and Christiane Smyth, 2021. Photo: Rachel Topham Photography.

Liam Paul

Transformation presents itself as a deceptively simple image, depicting a stem of a Dicentra formosa, or Pacific Bleeding Heart, a plant indigenous to the Pacific Northwest. Upon closer view, the image reveals both butterfly forms and four figures hanging upside down along the thin leaf form. Unique in its style and composition, Transformation offers a departure from “traditional” Coast Salish visual art because of its lack of obvious conventional imagery. In both composition and colour palette, the work is contemporary, pushing the presumed boundaries of Coast Salish visual language.

Liam Paul is from the T'sartlip First Nation, and the son of recognized artist Chris Paul and the brother of emergent artists C̸OSINIYE Paul and Sage Paul. He learned to carve in his father’s studio and attended his weekly carving course, Carve Night. Paul also expresses his ideas through sketching, drawing and printmaking.