These drums by Brandon Gabriel and Melinda Bige tell the story of the seasons according to the Kwantlen First Nation.
Artist: Brandon Gabriel and Melinda Bige
Location: Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre (13458 107A Avenue)
Category: Civic collection
Year Installed: 2016
About Four Seasons
These four 30" buffalo hide drums hang in the circular mezzanine above the lobby of the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre. Painted a different colour with original Coast Salish designs, they represent spring, summer, fall, and winter, telling the story of the four seasons, according to the traditions of the Kwantlen First Nation.
- The winter drum is blue with a moon face bordered by a pair of wolves, the symbol of the Kwantlen Nation.
- The spring drum is green with a spring moon face, surrounded by a design representing running water.
- The summer drum shows the natural colour of the drum skin along with a pattern of salmon in yellow and white, also signifying the warmth of this season.
- The fall drum has a design representing trees and the reddish orange colour of autumn leaves.
Four Seasons was commissioned by Seyem' Qwantlen Business Group to celebrate the culture and history of the First Nations peoples whose traditional and unceded lands include the Fraser River's south bank area, where the Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre is located, as well as the village of qəyqə́yt along the Fraser River, near the neighbourhood now known as Bridgeview in Surrey.
This artwork was presented as a gift to the City of Surrey from Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited, the project sponsor. The drums were unveiled as part of a ceremony organized by the Kwantlen First Nation and supported by Lehigh Hanson and the City of Surrey, in honour of the history of the qəyqə́yt village and the ancestral territories of the Coast Salish peoples.
Read a transcript of Brandon describing this artwork
About the Artists
A member of Kwantlen First Nation, Brandon Gabriel studied at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, focussing on anthropology. He continued at Emily Carr University and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts. His art has been exhibited internationally and his other commissions have included the design for the 2010 BC Summer Games medal, a sculpture for the Stave Dam in Mission, and a sculpture for the Surrey School District. Gabriel is also active as an educator.
Melinda Bige is Brandon’s life partner and collaborator. She is of Lut’sel’ké Dené heritage and is an accomplished scholar, activist, and artist. She is completing a graduate degree in indigenous governance at the University of Victoria. Brandon and Melinda have a daughter named Jamie, born in March 2016. She is now an instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.