Under the Double Eagle and Elder Moon
Coast Salish symbols by Leonard Wells and Leslie Wells hang above the traffic roundabout near South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre.
Artists: Leonard Wells and Leslie Wells
Location: Traffic roundabout at South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre (20 Avenue & 144 Street)
Category: Civic collection
About Under the Double Eagle and Elder Moon
Under the Double Eagle and Elder Moon link Semiahmoo Coast Salish culture with other First Nations and Surrey communities. The sculptures, which are two large, upright cedar disks mounted back to back, are installed on the traffic roundabout at the South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre, near the Semiahmoo First Nation community. Their circular design alludes to traditional Coast Salish spindle whorls and speaks to a history of art-making distinctive to the region.
Rich with symbolic meaning, Under the Double Eagle shows two eagles with wings touching and symbolizes the friendship between the Semiahmoo First Nation and the City of Surrey. It also evokes the Surrey Eagles Hockey Club, which plays in the nearby arena.
Elder Moon alludes to the Coast Salish “13 Moons” yearly cycle, which provides guiding principles for social and ceremonial life. Each of the moons symbolically represented in the outer rings is associated with a story and a time of year.
About the Artists
Leonard Wells and Leslie Wells are artists, brothers, and collaborators on this project. Both have apprenticed with Haida artist Robert Davidson and are members of the Semiahmoo First Nation.
In their art, they reflect the traditional lands, culture, and spiritual life of their people. While Leslie’s art is characterized as having a “quiet spirituality”, Leonard is interested in adding an “element of fun.” Both are dedicated to creating an outstanding work of public art that is easily identifiable as Coast Salish.