Susan Point, Written in the Earth, 2000, cast aluminum and red cedar. SFU Art Collection. Gift of the Salish Weave Collection of George and Christiane Smyth, 2018. SFU Galleries. 

Episode 7 | July 28
C̸OSINIYE Paul and Sage Paul on Susan Point

“One way we did ‘write in the earth’ was through farming. As Coast Salish People, we farmed by thinking of the future, asking ourselves, ‘How do we help the land as it provides for us? How do I care for the earth as she cares for me?’”

Written in the Earth (2000) is a series of four engraved aluminum and cedar works by Susan Point installed in the Saywell Atrium at SFU’s Burnaby campus. A xʷməθkwəy̓əm Coast Salish artist who was born in Alert Bay and grew up on the xʷməθkwəy̓əm Reserve, Point's artistic practice combines contemporary and traditional techniques to assert Coast Salish culture. At the outset of Point’s career over three decades ago, there were few visible precedents of women carving, though traditionally women did practice carving. Coast Salish artists and sisters C̸OSINIYE Paul and Sage Paul speak on the legacy and techniques of Point’s expansive practice and her influence on new generations of Indigenous artists.

C̸OSINIYE Paul is a Coast Salish artist, born in the year 2000 to artist Chris Paul and raised in Tsartlip territory. Their traditional Coast Salish name, which means Star Woman, was given to them by their aunt Linda Eilliott. Their work often features astrological elements, like the stars and moon, with new-age colour palettes and bold lines. Besides printmaking they work in illustration, logo design, wood, metal, glass, and jewelry design. Their work has been exhibited in Alcheringa Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and UVIC.
Sage Paul is a Coast Salish artist, born in 1995 to artist Chris Paul. Her work is influenced by the natural world around her, and often features animals stylistically rendered with a bright colour palette. Her work has been exhibited in Alcheringa Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and UVIC Legacy Art Gallery. She is the recipient of the YVR Art Foundation’s Frank O’Neill Award for her sandblasted piece titled Grandpa.



[Image description: Hanging along a cement wall are four aluminium works in the shape of bell-curves. Each carved metal surface depicts an etched face in a Coast Salish design, flanked by a different pair of birds: hummingbirds, thunderbirds, owls, and phoenixes, that represent the Earth, stars, moon, and sun, respectively. Each work is lined with a strip of red cedar. The works alternate between facing upwards and downwards.]