Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Salmon Heart

Living in Northern California means living in a watershed that rightfully belongs to salmon. All up & down the coast we are witnessing the peril of 5 salmon species whose lives have literally built the forests from California to Alaska.

Last summer I painted Salmon Heart of the People to express the spiritual connection native people have always honored. This compound acrylic work is 54 x 30". I cut a hole in the center canvas & stitched over the hole a piece of suede leather painted with a healing hand. While the salmon are endangered, so are we--restoring their heart is the pathway to our own health.

Last week I watched Jack Kohler's movie, River of Renewal. He traces the conflicts on the Klamath River from the mouth to the headwaters, giving fair voice to the divergent suffering of commercial fishermen, Yurok & Karuk tribes, fish, & farmers. I especially love the scenes of Leaf Hillman & his son talking about Fixing the World.
Meanwhile, last month the Pomo at Stewart's Point lost their fishing rights. As Jack Kohler shows in his film, it's often Indians who pay for conservation measures. For more information, see Violet Wilder's Facebook page, KEEP THE NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BEACHES ACCESSIBLE FOR THE COASTAL TRIBES. When the world is falling apart, how do we find the right way to heal it?

Maybe we can hear again the Heart of the Salmon.