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Reception desk at the BC-Canada Pavilion at Beijing 2008
Released August 2008
When thinking about salmon the first thing that comes to mind is food at the dinner table. In the past, it has sustained us throughout the year and provided 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.
“Reunion 2008” 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. Over the past decade, it has become apparent that fish stocks are in danger and we desperately need to reevaluate our treatment of our relatives from the sea.
Ten years after my first “Reunion” print, I revisit the artwork that I consider to be my first successful print design. A variation of this image was selected to grace both reception desks at the BC-Canada Pavilion at Beijing 2008.
"Reunion 2008” is a limited edition print using the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released in August of 2008 and printed by Andy Everson at the artist’s own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 109 prints bear the title “Reunion 2008” and are signed by Andy Everson: 99 in the primary edition bearing the numbers 1/99 through 99/99; 9 Artist’s Proofs; and 1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton rag paper measures about 5.5x24 inches. Image size measures about 4.5x23 inches.