Coast Salish forms and symbols connect the site of an active regional utility to Indigenous traditions.
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My artwork represents in a modern view what a longhouse would look like standing in a place that it's highly likely one might have been. - Andrea Wilbur-Sigo
The longhouse’s carved motifs feature Killer Whale, Octopus, and Thunderbird—creatures of universal importance among Coast Salish tribes. Made of old-growth cedar, it is flanked by a series of upright paddles—an homage to the practice of “paddles up,” which signals a desire to land and visit when approaching a community by canoe. Salmon imagery on the paddles acknowledges the historical importance of the fish to Native peoples, as well as the restored habitat and improved connection to Little Bear Creek made possible by Brightwater.
Wilbur-Sigo is a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe and the first documented woman carver in her tribe and family.
UPDATE: The longhouse component of Grandfather’s Wisdom, carved in 2012 by Andrea Wilbur-Sigo, returned to her studio on February 9 for restoration, and will be reinstalled in late 2022.
About the Location
Brightwater Science, art, design, and ecology come together at Brightwater, one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in the world. Located north of Woodinville, WA, Brightwater comprises a park, a community gathering space, an exhibition hall, and a scientific learning laboratory in addition to the structures that house technical operations. Throughout the site, integrated and portable…
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