Medium: bronze and stainless steel
Dimensions: 48" x 18" x 34"
Living and working on Vancouver Island, sculptor and film technician Trinita Waller has slowly but surely made her way west from her native Calgary.
She studied at David Thompson University Centre (DTUC) in Nelson in the early 1980’s, originally planning to study clay working and pottery.
She gravitated towards sculpting instead, which eventually led to work in the fledgling film industry in Vancouver. Waller has interspersed work in the art departments of numerous films and television series over the years with further studies at Capilano College and the Sculpture Institute.
Now enjoying creating in her studio in East Sooke, she continues to sculpt passionate, wondrous pieces from the heart. Her sculptures and artworks are found in collections throughout North America, Europe and South Africa.
Salmon Cycle – winner of the 2018 Oak Bay ArtsAlive sculpture competition – is a fine example of that creativity. The four-foot high sculpture is a stylistic change from previous works, fully figurative as opposed to gorgeous semi-abstracted works that often portray the female form.
Depicting kokanee salmon balanced on a fabricated unicycle, Waller’s bronze cleverly showcases the fascinating cyclical nature of their lifespan. Excepting the stainless steel spokes, her creation shines in lustrous natural bronze. Atop the seat is a large female of the species. Resting on the pedals are two smaller versions of male kokanee with their distinctive hooked jaws.
Rimming the wheel are dozens of smolts, moving counter to the direction of the parents. Their reverse direction symbolizes departure from the redds they came from, all a part of the endless cycle of reproduction, existence, return and expiration.
“I wanted to create a piece that represents an important aspect of the region where I studied initially, and where I live now,” says Waller. “I deliberately made the female considerably larger than her male counterparts, not only for balance but also as my small nod to the importance and empowerment of females personified through the current Me Too movement. The ideals and intent are important to me as a woman, and as an artist who has occasionally experienced unequal and unfair treatment within an industry.”