caləɫali altarpiece

Acrylic Paint and Gold Leaf on Canvas
  |  
  |   $5,000

EXHIBITION:

December

caləɫali is the original name for Tacoma pre-contact. caləɫali altarpiece is based on the Ghent altarpiece painted by master Jan Van Eyck. Pettibon merges the Coast Salish and European origin stories with the familiar European ornate clothing and crown, and the txʷəlšucid (Lushootseed) prayer written across the gold arch. Instead of the bible, she depicts herself reading a story of the creator in txʷəlšucid. The story in the book is “Star Husband”, which is the story of how creator came to be. The creator’s txʷəlšucid name is “dukʷibəɫ”, painted in red on the wallpaper. Painted on the wallpaper is salmon, representing sacrifice, as the salmon are a sacred animal for Coast Salish people. caləɫali altarpiece shows Pettibon’s journey of reclaiming her Indigenous culture while amidst the predominant European culture.

The prayer in the arches of the painting is written in txʷəlšucid, and a translation is below:

ʔəsḱʷədiidəxʷ čəɫ txʷəl ti sləx̌il

We are praisingly grateful for this day

ʔəsḱʷədiidəxʷ čəɫ txʷəl ti slijəɫ qʷibid ti x̌əččəɫ

We are praisingly grateful for this life

qʷibid ti ćuqʷəbčəɫ

Fix our thoughts

qʷibid ti səličəɫ

Fix our souls

ƛ́um ʔəsʔistəʔ

So be it

dukʷibəɫ

(Changer, aka Creator, aka Transformer)

-Paige Pettibon