PUBLIC INSTALLATION: "Woven Together" by Susan Point and Thomas Cannell

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Have you noticed anything different about Victoria’s Johnston Street parkade lately?

Next time you are walking by, take a break from your phone, and lift your eyes to this amazing collaborative piece by Musqueam artists, Susan Point and her son, Thomas Cannell, chosen out of 110 other national proposals submitted to the City’s Art in Public Places Policy.

Woven Together is a contemporary six metre by eight metre piece consisting of colourfully powder-coated aluminum circular forms representative of the traditional themes of life cycles, spindle whorls, and transportation.  The four eye motifs in the centre of the work help create a butterfly image symbolizing metamorphosis and the ability to accept change.  The number four is also important across many First Nations cultures since it corresponds to the four winds, seasons, directions, and elements.

For the past thirty years, Susan Point has been a driving force in the reestablishment of Coast Salish art in both Canada and the United States.  Her work has been commissioned and installed in public spaces around the world.  Point is the receiver of several prestigious awards and honorary degrees.

Thomas Cannell began his career as an apprentice carver over a decade ago, and also has his work adorning public parks in the Lower Mainland.  Although he has collaborated with Point on several large-scale pieces in different media, Cannell has developed a distinct award-winning style of his own, with strong, simple lines creating imagery unique to Coast Salish art.

“It was really important for us to reflect the first people of this region and the Coast Salish,” said Jon Tupper, chair of the Art in Public Places committee.  “Susan Point is one of the most important Coast Salish artists in this region… That part of Johnson Street needs something interesting there.  This is a significant piece for the city and the parkade.”*

The City’s Art in Public Places Policy encourages the creation of new artworks for the enhancement of public spaces.  As described by The City of Victoria, “the purpose of the policy is to:

  • increase the livability and artistic richness of the municipality by making art a permanent part of our environment and a legacy for future generations.
  • provide opportunities for the public to increase their awareness, appreciation, knowledge and education of public art.
  • develop a sense of place, community pride and identity through the creation of new works.
  • integrate art and artists into a variety of public settings.
  • engender art that inspires people and is an expression of the time.
  • enhance the attractiveness of the City, and promote cultural tourism.
  • provide opportunities for artists at all levels and career stages.”*

 

Photo Credit: Darren Stone, Times Colonist / Salish Weave

*Quote from Victoria News

*Criteria from City of Victoria