(Click Image to Enlarge)
Released November 2003
When thinking about salmon, the first thing that comes
to mind is food at the dinner table. It sustains us throughout the
year and provides a number of our people with an economic livelihood.
Our relationship, however, goes much deeper. There are many stories
about salmon that have been passed on from generation to generation
that vary between families and cultures throughout the coast. One
of the dances that my family owns represents one such story of the
connection between salmon and ourselves.
In the firelight of the Bighouse, a dancer would appear
wearing a human mask and carrying a spear. Through another entrance
a second dancer emerges adorned with a large salmon mask. Slowly,
the two move until they converge near the centre of the house. The
man rapidly plunges his spear into the side of the fish. In response,
the salmon dancer lets out a loud shrill and unexpectedly opens
the mask to reveal another face. To the shock of the human dancer,
he stares directly at his own image. The dance then culminates in
the two brothers leaving the floor of the house together.
My twenty-second print, “Union” represents
the return of the sockeye salmon to its place of birth. Upon entering
freshwater, it undergoes an intense transformation. While turning
a brilliant scarlet red, the males develop a humped back and a grotesquely
hooked nose and the females attain a rounded belly full of eggs.
The print also represents the reunion that takes place between people
and salmon during this incredible time. I think back to the dance
that my family owns and the connection that we have with salmon.
To us, they are our brothers and sisters. While they provide us
with food, we also understand that we must respect them because
of the bonds that tie us together. “Union” is a follow-up
to my third print, “Reunion.”
“Union” is a limited edition
print using the silk-screening method of print-making. Print production
took place during November of 2003 at Seacoast Screenprinting of
Victoria B.C. The artist was involved throughout the process and
has ensured that all stencils were destroyed following printing.
A total of 98 prints bear the title “Union” and are
signed by Andy Everson: 80 in the primary edition bearing the numbers
1/80 through 80/80; 8 Artist’s Proofs; 8 Remarques; and 2
Printer’s Proofs. The acid-free 100% Stonehenge paper measures
approximately 22x14 inches. Image size measures 18¼ x 9¼
inches. Four colours were used during printing: red, and light,
medium, and dark greens.