allsalmonconsidered

art, science, culture ... and a touch of humor

Photos, Graphic Images & Art

Celebrating salmon in the visual arts

 

Unless otherwise noted, photos and images are copyrighted by Dennis Lloyd Kuklok. Most are available for use at nominal or no charge, with special consideration given to non-profit organizations and public entities involved in salmon research, protection, education and outreach. Contact us if interested.

Witness

by

Tom Jay

Bronze casting

1997

 

Location: Jefferson County Library Entrance, Port Hadlock, Washington.

 

This piece is best understood through the words of its creator.

 

Witness: the Legend

 

In cultures around the world, Raven is imagined as the trickster; unpredictable nuisance, clown and benefactor- remember Noah sent the Raven out to look for land and he never came back. In the Northwest native tradition Raven was a trickster, but he was also revered as a benefactor. It was Raven who stole the sun, moon and stars so people could see. One story depicts Raven as a pale bird whose feathers are scorched black from stealing the fire that keeps us warm. Some say Raven was even responsible for stealing water and spreading it around in lakes and streams so all creatures could live.

 

In the folklore of the temperate forests of the Pacific Northwest Raven was married to Salmon. Like Raven, Salmon was a mythical being who could be both animal and human. She was salt to his pepper, constant and true in contrast to his opportunistic antics. She called the salmon back to the streams and rivers to feed the people. In one story, she conjures the world’s first salmon out of her water-filled root hat to feed Raven who is starving. Salmon was Raven’s gravity; she brought him down to earth; anchored his mercurial curiosity.

 

In this sculpture Raven is musing in a quiet repose, sheltered from the weather in a salmon-skin rain shawl. The ancient peoples of this place tanned salmon skins to fashion elegant wet-weather gear. I imagine the Witness as a symbol of our own rambunctious curiosity at home in this salmon-sheltered world. The book at Raven’s feet is emblematic of the library, a forest of books, a feast for dreamers and for those who hunger to figure things out.

 

Tom Jay, 1997

Copyright by the Author. Reprinted Here With His Permission

 

The above is from a brochure produced by the Jefferson County Library. Go to

The piece commissioned by the Jefferson County Library Board in 1996 was based on a table sized original version. For information on limited edition castings of this piece, contact

Tom Jay and Sara Mall Johani

Lateral Line

 

 

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