The Trapped Salmon Pendant

Artist Lyle Wilson



*Chain not included

“THE TRAPPED SALMON”. Sandblasted Glass Sculpture with aluminum base & frame; Silver pendant --- the Salmon Series.

--- by Lyle Wilson; 2020.

The salmon has always been important to the First Nations groups; as well, many, many Non-natives also share a concern about their ultimate fate.

In 1998 I made a silver bracelet called, “THE LONELY SALMON” (now in the collection of the UBC Museum of Anthropology) --- the subject matter dealt with my observation of the declining numbers of the salmon.

Decades ago, while commercial fishing on a large seine boat --- with a 5-man crew, and using a long, long, long net --- we caught one salmon!   

After all that combined effort our captain pointedly stated: “That’s a lonely salmon!”

When I was young, my grandparents  --- and other HAISLA elders --- would tell me that there was a time when a person could walk across rivers and streams, on the backs of all the spawning salmon, and not get their feet wet. This may be hard for anyone to believe, but having seen mind-boggling quantities of salmon myself, I readily believe their description of salmon-filled streams. Today the salmon tries to run the gauntlets of commercial, sport and food fisheries --- as well, habitat destruction also takes a toll on their original numbers. The salmon I have been privileged to witness may be only the mere remnants of our pre-contact fish stocks but even these few remaining salmon stocks remain an inspiring natural spectacle. Their struggles in the ocean and upriver, seeking their ancestral spawning beds are a sight to behold!
The glass sculpture (featuring net, spear & lure) and the engraved silver pendant  are my latest version that continues the theme of our decimation of the salmon stocks and tries to draw attention to the issue of the disappearing salmon so that in the coming years I don’t have to repeat my old captain’s observation of a “lonely salmon”!

--- by Lyle Wilson; 2020.