Framed Art Card -Beginning (Salmon)
Nestled amongst the gravel, hundreds of tiny red-orange eggs thrive on the life-giving oxygen fed to them by the swirling action of the crystalline stream. For the Sockeye salmon and, indeed, all five species of salmon found on the Northwest Coast, it is the stream where their life journey will begin. For a good number it is also where their journey will end.
It is amazing to comprehend the amount of information contained within each individual egg. Reproductive cells from the mother and the father fuse to form their offspring. The cells divide and grow and carry genetic instructions to guide the salmon through its many life stages. The tiny cells will also enable the salmon to remember the odour of the exact stream in which it is conceived. This will drive the salmon throughout its life and, ultimately, guide it to return back to its place of birth.
“Beginning” is my rendition of this very start of life for a salmon. For the many First Nations throughout the coast, the salmon was given to us by the Creator as an integral source of food. Going beyond food, however, the salmon is also seen as being related to us and, as such, is given an incredible amount of respect.
One reason I created “Beginning” was the birth of my son, Matthew. Adding joy with his dimpled smile, he brings with him an incredibly bright future. Like the young salmon egg, he is imprinted with a sense of place and a sense of belonging. Though his life is just beginning, it is my hope that he will always know where he is from.
(9" x 12")