Surrey Art Gallery is pleased to host a travelling exhibition of works from one of Canada’s foremost artists. Susan Point: Spindle Whorl, on tour from the Vancouver Art Gallery, opens on January 25 till March 22, 2020. A curator’s tour with Vancouver Art Gallery curator Grant Arnold will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.
Susan Point is renowned as one of Canada’s leading innovators in the fields of contemporary and Indigenous art. She has pioneered the revitalization of Coast Salish art through her works in jewellery, sculpture, printmaking, public art, and more. Her artmaking celebrates the vibrancy of traditional Coast Salish culture, while firmly situating it within the present moment.
Spindle Whorl features screenprints developed by the artist over the past four decades. Each one uses the motif of the spindle whorl—a small, round (usually wooden) disk traditionally used by Coast Salish women to prepare wool that would be woven into garments and ceremonial blankets. In her art, Point beautifully adapts the whorl as a vehicle for symbolic meaning, reinventing and adorning it with animals, the forces of nature, mythological creatures, and other, more abstract design elements.
For Point, the spindle whorl is not only a way of connecting with her heritage, but a means of developing visual ideas. In many instances, traditional motifs such as salmon, eagles, crescents and moons intertwine, transform, and meld into each other, producing strikingly original imagery. In conjunction with an innovative use of colour, Point’s works present us with unprecedented combinations of patterns and forms. This commitment to the exploration of the whorl has inspired generations of younger Coast Salish artists, and expanded the realm of visual expression.
“I have to say that I have been fortunate in that my artistic expression is rooted in my Coast Salish cultural foundation,” says Susan Point in her artist statement, “however, I consider myself a contemporary artist. Traditionally, the Salish peoples on the Northwest Coast never ever exploited the stories or meanings behind their cultural pieces (which we now call art) as they were private portrayals of family and history. When I design and work on a piece, regardless of medium, there are countless stories, thoughts and memories that go through my mind. I am redesigning the artwork all the time … to challenge myself and to experiment and express my ways of always being original.”
In addition to the opening night curator’s tour, Susan Point will visit Surrey Art Gallery for an artist’s talk on February 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Join DARPAN Magazine community on socialmedia!