Thomas A. Cannell

Tribe: Musqueam
Based In: Vancouver, BC

About the Art
Coast Salish crescents, wedges, and positive/negative space are used as a way to tell stories, honor people and places, and honor the past. I try to see things in the way of my ancestors from long ago, and I make choices in my artwork that honor their legacy. This design is about honoring the past while we move forward together. While I define my journey, it teaches me to look toward what comes next and how to get there. The only thing we as people can really do is keep moving forward. We must anticipate our actions becoming our circumstances. The mosaic I have designed—made entirely of Coast Salish design elements—is meant to represent the interconnection of people today. I use the image of a tree because trees are timeless and long-lasting community members of nature. Trees tell stories that endure for hundreds of years. I believe this will help remind people that in order to move forward, we must do it together as community members. This image also shows a full blue moon in daylight, symbolic of Mother Earth’s watchful eye as she grants us new horizons to discover and understand.