For thousands of years, the Coast Salish peoples have travelled and lived within the vast territory that surrounds the City of Vancouver, a territory that covers the northern tip of Vancouver Island, the whole of the lower mainland and into the State of Washington. Over time, new people arrived from various cultures and made this same territory their home. Taking into consideration the past and present landscape and mix of the surrounding environment, Musqueam artist Susan Point created the illustrative cast concrete mural Story of Life featured on the mid-section retaining wall of the Low Level Roadway. An expert at pattern design, Point has devised a three panel design that does not repeat monotonously. The non-repetitive design masterfully depicts the story of this area with male and female figures welcoming all peoples to this land. At the beginning of the mural there is imagery suggestive of traditional habitat and moving towards the centre there is a thriving community reflective of the rhythm of the land with images of butterflies, frogs, hummingbirds, salmon, eagles, and plant life. Finally subtle flora and fauna motifs represent the future generation and the knots represent the ties within all cultures.
The Story of Life
This artwork is viewable by vehicle only.
About the artist:
Susan Point is a descendant of the Musqueam people; she is the daughter of Edna Grant and Anthony Point. Susan inherited the values of her culture and traditions of her people by her mother Edna– who learned by her mother, Mary Charlie-Grant. Her distinct style has stimulated a movement in Coast Salish art. She draws inspiration from the stories of her ancestors and commences the use of non-traditional materials and techniques, therefore inspiring a whole new generation of artists. Susan is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and has been presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her contributions to Canada.
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