Douglas Street in downtown Victoria has recently received a bit of a facelift. The street is now lined with banners depicting new work by Coast Salish artist Dylan Thomas.
Earlier this year, the City of Victoria held a call to artists to submit their ideas for the Summer Banner program. Through the selection process, Dylan’s designs were chosen, and are now on display.
In a statement, Dylan said “As a person with Lekwungen (Songhees) heritage, who was born and raised in Victoria, I feel a profound connection to this area in its modern, historical and pre-historical contexts, all of which I’ve tried to capture in my banner designs. (….) For these banners, I’ve symbolized some of the lesser-known aspects of this territory’s history and mythology.”
Dylan created four new designs for the program:
Born On The Shores honours Dylan’s grandmother as one of the last people born in the Old Songhees Village before the reserve was relocated.
Camossung describes the legend of a girl who was turned into a boulder located at Tillicum Narrows, where fresh and salt water merge with each changing of the tides.
Building The Bastion takes us back to when Victoria was founded. It symbolizes the historical cooperation between the local Lekwungen People and European settlers to build Fort Victoria.
Reef-Nets pays homage to the Salish method of reef net fishing and the sacred salmon cycle.
The banners will be on display until October.
Art Thompson (1948-2003) was a distinguished, contemporary Northwest coast artist. Art worked largely in two dimensional mediums and was perhaps best known for his catalogue of limited edition silk screen prints. His work consisted of a blend of contemporary and traditional design elements, telling of myths and legends.
Art’s favourite subjects were sea creatures. So on Mother Ocean Day, May 11th, we are offering Art Thompson’s prints at 30% off. All of the prints are from the 1970s, which was early in Art’s career. They helped to establish him as one of the most celebrated artists of the Northwest coast.
Tim Paul is an illustrious First Nations artist from the West coast of Vancouver Island. Over the years, he has created many carvings, paintings, and limited edition serigraphs that have found their way into collections all over the world.
What’s perhaps most fascinating about Tim’s work is his extensive knowledge and understanding of Northwest Coast culture and history. His works go far beyond what the eye sees. There is a lot of purpose and meaning behind every detail.
There is no doubt, Tim Paul is one of the greats. He is an artist, a teacher, an environmentalist, husband, father, grandfather, and a fascinating story teller. A soft-spoken man, Tim Paul is very passionate about his family, heritage, and the environment. This is evident in his latest print, Ticc-Yupii (Your Balance), his first serigraph in over 10 years.
Ticc-Yupii is about the importance of having balance in our lives, and about being aware of the harm that we can do to those around us, and to the environment. Yet, there is hope. We can change, but we need to act. We need to take action. We need to take that important first step. We need to set the foot outside the circle and let the good come out to achieve balance.