EXHIBITION: Canadian and Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada
In June of this year, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa opened the redesigned Canadian and Indigenous Galleries to much acclaim. The new galleries present a wide range of cultural and artistic masterpieces from across Canada and spanning 5000 years. With historical objects displayed alongside contemporary creations, the exhibition encourages visitors to experience the cultural riches of Canada in a new and exciting ways.
We at Salish Weave would like to congratulate Cowichan/Penelakut artist, lessLIE, for his prominently placed work, wHOle W(((h)))orl(((d))) (2013), as a representative of Coast Salish art and perspective at the gallery. Located at the entrance of the historic part of the exhibition, this bold rendition of a spindle whorl depicts a human encircled by two salmon, four wolves, and four thunderbirds.
Artist statement: “I wanted to create a graphic work that could rival early and classic one-colour Coast Salish graphic designs, such as Charles Elliott’s Salish Renewal and Stan Greene’s Human with Thunderbirds. Within the overall feel of the design, an Aztec calendar influence can be sensed in the circular form. This cross-cultural aesthetic influence reflects the cultural reality of Coast Salish people living in the most urbanized and densely and diversely populated area of the Northwest Coast. One intention of this classic Salish design was to provoke questions about how contemporary Coast Salish people fit in modern society. Simultaneously, another intention was to show that I have a knowledgeable understanding of traditional Coast Salish design elements and principles. As the great Haida artist Robert Davidson once ARTiculated, ‘you can’t innovate from nothing.’”