The Family and the Extended Family
1. The Family and 2.Extended Family, 3/16 corten steel, each four feet long, $1600 each
These are the titles for my two new groupings of killer whales.
1. The lead bull in The Family (above) is the dominant image and the only one with teeth. These indicate that in Northwest Coast art and traditional culture all animals are regarded as human beings cloaked in animal “robes”. It’s the central idea behind the universal notion of transformation and generally applies to my work: we are all beings in transition – animals and people – capable of imaginative transformation between one and the other.
This same lead orca also reveals a profile human-like face in the body which is designed to represent his ancestor, the soul of a grandfather or grandmother, which also touches on the ever present and guiding notion of the role of ancestors in this art form. All of the figures taken together symbolize the central role of family, both immediate and extended, in thriving societies. Families are a symbol, of cosmic order.
2. The second group (above), Extended Family, is led by what I regard as a large female, arced downward to the left, as she dives, followed by young and adolescent figures in a complex interplay of both figures and movement. Overlapping such figures in an attempt to represent group movement and interaction is a modern development in this art form.