It is simply amazing to watch salmon swim upstream. They are propelled forward by an instinctive need to return to the place of their birth. Entering fresh water, they undergo a physical transformation and begin their final journey home. They fight against the river’s current metre by metre, inch by inch. They travel up ladders and over rocks until they finally reach their destination. In a closing act of ecstasy, they fulfill the circle of life.
Cross country skiers are also amazing to watch. Drawing forth an inner energy, they are able to endure physical pain in order to move forward. Gliding over the snow, they inch toward the end of their run. From training runs to loppets to international competition, these athletes do what it takes to travel up hills and down valleys only to cross the finish line in ecstasy that the pain is over and their job is done--for now.
I’ve chosen to include this print in the Spirits of Snow & Ice Collection which pays homage to the winter sports that take place in my hometown and all over much of British Columbia. The background image of the salmon is done in respect of my Coast Salish ancestry and represents a spindle whorl design. The spindle whorl, I feel, is the perfect metaphor for weaving together our worlds.
The prints in this series bring together the four worlds present in our First Nations belief structure: The sky world represented by the dawning of a new day. The land world to which all the athletes in these images belong. The sea world evoked through the frozen waves of snow & ice. The spirit world guiding the athletes and giving them the characteristics of our sacred animals.
"Salmon” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in January of 2010 and printed by Andy Everson at Copper Canoe, the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 221 prints bear the title “Salmon” and are signed by Andy Everson: 200 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/200 through 200/200; 20 Artist’s Proofs; and 1 Printer’s Proof. Numbers 1 through 50 in the primary edition and all Artist’s Proofs are available exclusively in limited edition matched box sets containing all 10 prints of the Spirits of Snow & Ice Collection. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures 11x17 inches. Image size measures about 9.5x14.5 inches.