Art for Sea to Sky: Surge
Surge – 40”x60” – 2021 – acrylic on canvas
Energy. Power. Water. You cannot think about Howe Sound without thinking about water. See the mountainsides sculpted by rivers. Follow valleys carved by glaciers/X̱áx̱min. Circle islands surrounded by the sea/Shḵwen. Everywhere you look, as far forward and as far back as you can see, Howe Sound has been touched by water. To the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh people so much of life revolves around the water. The name Atl’ka7tsem itself refers to the act of paddling up the Sound towards Sḵwx̱wú7mesh.
During the last ice age over 10,000 years ago the fjord was covered under 1.5 kms of ice. The power from this slow crush of flowing glacier/X̱áx̱min was enough to completely reform the land. It was water that sculpted Howe Sound into the foundational landscape we see
today, and upon that foundation it is water that continues to permeate and breathe life into every corner of its reach.
As you look north up Howe Sound from the edge of Bowen Island/Nex̱wlélex̱m, an expansive vista greets you. Gambier/Chá7elknech and Anvil/ Lhaxwm Islands to the left, Mt. Wrottesley and the sunshine coast in behind, Garibaldi/Nch'Kay and Black Tusk ahead of you, and Porteau Cove/Xwawchayay to the right. The tree featured in this painting is an arbutus menziesii/Lhúlhuḵw’ay, commonly known as the ‘Pacific Madrone’. It is an iconic species here in Atl’ka7tsem, its twisting branches and peeling bark as fluid as the seascape itself.