Susan Point: Spindle Whorl is running until May 28, 2017 at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Susan Point is to the Musqueam and Coast Salish what Bill Reid is to the Haida. Almost single-handedly she has revived Coast Salish visual culture and in the end produced profoundly beautiful works brokered with originality.
Starting out by drawing silk screen prints on her kitchen table after working all day as a legal secretary Point has now worked in many media including serigraphs, glass, wood, stainless steel, bronze and concrete.
She has received numerous public art commissions. In 1995 she installed the world's largest Coast Salish spindle whorl with a 4.8 metre diameter and two Musqueam welcome figures, 5.2 metres in height in the Vancouver airport terminal. Point has also created work for the 2010 Olympics and the gates for Stanley Park.
When Susan Point decided to revive Coast Salish art forms they had all but vanished except for examples in museums and archives and so she spent years learning the forms and styles and now applies them with stunning results.
The exhibition consists of over 100 prints and sculptural works that take the spindle whorl as their starting point. Spindle whorls are a universal tool, a round disc with a hole in it that is still used in the spinning process to create fabric. Coast Salish spindle whorls were often decorated.