Public Art Registry
Land and Sea
Photo: Ed White
"Sea" light box by Kelly Cannell and Thomas Cannell - photo by Ed White
“Land” light box by Kelly Cannell and Thom Cannell - photo by Ed White
8555 Granville Street
Granville at 70th
The 4-story light boxes are located on the copper panels on the West Building (Land) and Cornish Estates Building (Sea), facing the central plaza.
Private development
2014
Glass
Site-integrated work
In place
Westbank
Description of work
Contemporary Coast Salish designs come to life in two light boxes, over 4-storys each, installed on the copper facades facing inwards to the central plaza at 8555 Granville Street. Designed by brother and sister team, artists Thom and Kelly Cannell, the panels tell a contemporary tale about their homeland, and depict creatures of the Land (green) and the Sea (blue). Each light box is shaped as a fragment of a circle, the shape of a spindle whorl which was utilized when spinning the yarn used in Coast Salish weaving. (Examples of Musqueam weaving can be seen in the display case in front of the Safeway store along Granville street). Creations in weaving have been passed down for countless generations. The artists’ grandmother, Edna Grant, was taught to weave by her mother, who was taught by her mother, and so on. Her designs could be recognized up and down the coast. Not unlike a crest, weaving designs symbolize lineage. This is true in carving, weaving, painting, and dancing. The artists are proud of this legacy and acknowledge it in this artwork.
Artist statement

"Land is usually depicted as steady and stable, Sea as unpredictable, and Sky as free spirited."

Our account of Land and Sea is a contemporary tale about our homeland. Legends have been thought about time immemorial and passed on from generation to generation. They are contemporary tales because the story is always changing. An Eagle’s spirit, or the spirit of a bear is not always the same thing. Different characteristics and different places mean different things. Kelly and I have created a contemporary design that demonstrates the way nature flows together. In some cases you will see water flowing down a stream, or the wind blowing through the trees, or the trees themselves and their underground roots. Land is: blades of grass, a deer is prancing through from the forest just for the fun of it. A beaver emerges through the reeds at shore, looking for another tree to chew down; he has found it, but is weary of predators all the time. This time, only small creatures of the forest are hidden. Sea is: the west coast dream. Killer whales are chasing salmon around the Salish Sea. Kelp is flowing in the currents, maybe it is herring spawning season. Flounders down below are oblivious to another world above the surface. Cod are hiding amongst the rocks waiting for an easy meal. Life is transient, hardly still, even though we don't see it, branches are deliberately growing, underwater habitats are being bathed with the tide and water vapors rise into the atmosphere to fall far away. Happenings are all around us, ready to be re-discovered again and again. The broken circle of each design element refers to fragmented spindle whorl artifacts and the separations we see between these elements. Only when we see the whole picture together will the circle be complete. Our home is to inspire people to look closer in order to understand the subtleties and multitude of factors involved in our world.

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