tHEIRS is a counter part to yOURS; two drums I painted for the solo exhibition at Two Rivers Art Gallery in Prince George. I very rarely paint drums because I like to paint with contemporary mediums. Drums and paddles have more of a traditional context, but can have some contemporary significance. tHEIRS has to do with cultural property; I like to play with words as in tHEIRS, meaning it belongs to them, the people who buy the artwork. This work expresses the neo- colonial aspects of the commercial market and the word “heirs” asks who are the heirs of that art tradition. The answer is in the title. This work expresses that aspect of the commercial art market; at the same time I feel I have an obligation to share my culture with Canadian society and the world in general. With more of an understanding comes an appreciation and a cultural bridge that has been building between First Nations and Canadians and Americans. The sharing is symbolized in the design by visual punning where the faces share the same mouth in the center. The design outside of the two faces is the raven. The whole design is an expression of cultural property and sharing.
lessLIE, or Leslie Robert Sam (born 1973) is a Coast Salish artist from Duncan, BC. This highly talented and original artist works in multi-media, but particularly enjoys dealing with serigraphs. As a graduate student at the University of Victoria, he studied conventional Coast Salish art. The artist draws on traditional iconographic elements, while inventively intertwining his art with contemporary texts.