The focus point in this piece of art is a Spring Salmon depicted with the face of Humanity. Traditionally, the native societies were established around fishing, hunting and gathering. The most valuable resource was salmon. For thousands of years salmon was the primary food source for the people on the Canadian Northwest Coast. As a result of overfishing came a time of scarcity. Salmon perished and humanity depended heavily on its return. Salmon is a powerful symbol of regeneration, prosperity and renewal for the Haida people.
In the bottom right corner of this painting, Kuugan Jaad (also known as Mouse Woman) comes into sight. She is a character in many Haida legends. Mouse Woman is a supernatural being. She is the mother of Raven according to the mythology. She often appears in stories as a helper or advisor to those who are on a journey or to those who have crossed (or about to cross) to another dimension (Spirit World or the unknown). She is highly respected as she offers great wisdom to restore order and balance. According to mythology, Mouse woman can change shapes. She can be a big eyed mouse and change into a tiny human grandmother. However in art her appearance is mostly abstract.
“When I’m creating a design, sometimes subconsciously Kuugan Jaad just appears in the art piece. Her form arises automatically during the creative process. It is striking, because she is known to lend a helping hand to story characters in our legends.“ – Robert Davidson
For us, this story is about a deep knowing that everything is connected. We all depend on each other and our surroundings. We believe that the essence of life lies in the need to regenerate ourselves. Taking time and advice of others to restore our balance (regenerate our resources), creating opportunities for renewal.