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Perspective - Unframed 24x30

Artist: Andy Everson

One of the things I like about drawing inspiration from traditional Northwest Coast art is the different perspectives that our people viewed things from. Where in typical western art, a whale is most often illustrated in profile or as a 3 dimensional realistic form, Northwest Coast art often goes far beyond that.

In traditional coastal art, killer whales can be viewed from the side while simultaneously viewed head-on. At the same time, we often get a look at their skeletal structure. Other times, we get a glimpse of their transformative capabilities that relate them back to our ancestral stories.

In this piece, I wanted to show a split killer whale that joins at both the head and the tail. Where the heads join, the whale is viewed head-on and where the tails join, it is viewed tail-on. I also wanted to add more dimensions by placing the tail fin above the head to give the appearance of diving and below the head to give the appearance of jumping--all characteristics of orcas. The figure above the blowhole represents both the spirit of the whale and its ability to transform into human form. The red line represents the thin veil that separates the physical world from the spiritual realm.

Simply put, I wanted to show a different perspective on how we see the natural world around us.


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