Salmon Eggs [painting] by lessLIESalmon Eggs [painting] by lessLIE
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Salmon Eggs [painting]

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This contemporary Coast Salish painting symbolizes the graphic development and perpetuation of Coast Salish art; It also significantly alludes to an archaic, traditional medium utilized by First Nations of the northern Northwest Coast. As Bill McLennan and Karen Duffek have noted, in pre-contact times, a traditional paint medium for northern Northwest Coast artists was chewed salmon eggs mixed with HUEman saliva and natural pigments (a mediational medium which has a cultural commonality with the egg tempera used by Western artists). Bill Holm, a leading scholar on Northwest Coast art, believed that painting might have been the catalyst which made "proto-Northwest Coast art" (Steve Brown's terminology for the theoretical ancient, root art tradition of the Northwest Coast, which was stylistically and principally comparable to traditional Coast Salish art) evolve into an art form with primary, secondary, and tertiarary formline design principles. As a contemporary Coast Salish artist, I believe it is significant to note that in pre-contact times, much Coast Salish art was a predominantly carved art form, executed in carved goat horn and hard woods. In the contemporary cultural context, many Coast Salish artists have chosen to utilize graphic media to develop and perpetuate Coast Salish art. With this in mind, for this painting, I wanted to design an image which, at first glance, would not appear to be a Coast Salish painting. But upon perceiving the subtle development of a salmon head within the salmon eggs, its Coast Salish design would be perceivable. I also felt it was significant that I utilized an ARTificial paint to render the salmon eggs. --lessLIE

Artwork Information

Location Canada
Region Northwest Coast
Artist lessLIE
NWC Nation N/A
Date Created 2005
Dimensions No
Materials & Edition acrylic on paper

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