Aug 2, 2013

shíshálh Nation Photo Walk

I drove from the Interior of BC to the coast and caught a ferry from West Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast. I didn't grow up here but it is like a home as my parents moved here after I, the youngest in the family, graduated. So I've been visiting for almost 18 years. There is a strong maritime and First Nations presence on the coast. The shíshálh Nation. My son and I started our walk on the beach where the vast Georgia Strait laps up over the tiny pebbles. 5 totems face the shore erected at various times over the past 30 years. They are very weather beaten and I admire the way the way they are aging. Moss, cracks, grit... Not sure whether the shíshálh Nation mean to or not but they are just letting the totems be. Not attempting to preserve them as far as I can tell. On one hand I am glad that BC has examples of beautifully crafted totems in the museum of anthropology at UBC. Seems a shame to let these works of art disintegrate. On the other hand, my intuition tells me that the totems were meant to fade in time just like the hands who sculpted them. Trying to hold on to something beyond its natural life could be a denial  of its meaning and purpose. Not allowing it to move on ... in this case to disintegrate and return to the earth.

Totem facing pebble beach on shíshálh Beach

Raven ground art by Marnie Maxwell. A non native local artist in Sechelt

shíshálh Nation boat by Gibert Joe mounted  undercover near the Raven's Cry Theatre

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