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Brandon Gabriel, The Time When the Salmon Returns design

Artist: Brandon Gabriel
Location: Fleetwood Library (15996 84 Avenue)
Category: Civic collection
Year: 2021

About The Time When the Salmon Return

Brandon Gabriel’s vinyl wrap design for the Fleetwood Library wall focuses on traditional Coast Salish styles and motifs. When creating the mural, Gabriel asked himself, “What is the most Salish thing about being Salish?” The answer for Gabriel: salmon. He says, “Salmon are the central cultural, spiritual, economic, and artistic element in Coast Salish culture. Without this creature that has provided sustenance for our people, we wouldn’t have a culture. One cannot exist without the other.”

Gabriel’s design hearkens to archetypal representations of salmon but has a more modern and graphic ideation. He says, “I kept picturing a salmon returning from its journey into the Fraser River, changing colours, and making its way to the spawning grounds. The design represents both culture and creature in motion, and the forward movement of both at the same time.”

About the Artist

Brandon Gabriel - Kwelexwelsten is a Kwantlen First Nation artist whose family also extends to the Shakan First Nation in N'lkapa'mux territory in Merritt and St'ail'es First Nation territory in Harrison Lake. Gabriel is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Emily Carr University of Art and Design. He is an internationally recognized, award-winning multimedia visual artist who has exhibited in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the United States, and across Canada. He is a painter, mixed media sculptor, illustrator, graphic designer, and educator. Gabriel currently resides in his home community in the Kwantlen Nation in unceded Fort Langley, BC with his wife Melinda and daughter Jamie.

His other public artworks in Surrey include Raven and the First Sunrise and Four Seasons.