Salmon Going Up River (Scháyilhen) immediately invokes a sense of urgency, of struggle, of passion. Questions arise: is it about the journey, the destination, the mission, or is the motive of greatest significance? Is failure an option?
Twelve Indigenous artists have been gathered to address the notion of Salmon Going Up River. From Danielle Bobier’s inorganic grid-lines and circular pools evocative of the built environment in Catchment Area (2017) routed from salvaged mahogany plywood; to Shain Jackson’s twenty-foot natural and painted red cedar with abalone inlay Legacy salmon sculpture; and collections of found objects as in Jay Haven’s Bargain Hunter made from bags gathered from retail stores on reserves throughout British Columbia—themes and stories begin to unravel.
Within a climate of reconciliation, the metaphor of Salmon Going Up River speaks about remembering, of going home—it’s about the future and of survival. It is directional, of going forward by way of the past. Yet, the past at best serves as a guidepost. The journey is arduous and painful, fraught with seemingly impossible barriers demanding multiple attempts to overcome—bruises and battle scars added at each rung. Fight we must, but with each other? Is the river and its many obstacles not battle enough?
There are resting pools along the way—so easy to linger; to set up residence. Complacency threatens. And so the conversation begins.
Richard Heikkilä-Sawan exhibition curator, Talking Stick Festival 2018
Dates & Time:
Opening & Reception: February 14, 2018 @ 7pm
Exhibition: February 14-24, 2018, 10am – 10pm
Roundhouse Performance Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2W3)