Previous pages discussed the formline, the ovoid, u-form and split u-form shapes used in Coast Salish art (Northwest Canadian Indian art). This page continues with other shapes used by Northwest Native artists.
Another shape used by Northwest Native artists is the S-form. This shape is like the letter ‘S’ with tapered ends. It is used as space fillers as well as parts of arms and legs. Multiple S-forms can also form a subject’s ribcage. S-forms are also used to connect different body parts of a subject. Below are examples of Coast Salish art S-forms, including multiples.
The L-form is also a shape used as a space filler as well as a connector. An example of the L-form shape is below.
Northwest Native Canadian Indian artists use these various shapes and the formline to create their intended subjects. As these positive shapes are assembled in close proximity to each other, the spaces between them create negative shapes which also play an important role in the overall design. Good Northwest Native artists know that any changes made to the positive shapes will affect the negative shapes as well.
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As one looks at Coast Salish art more closely, including the pieces showcased at Free Spirit Gallery, the different shapes discussed can be recognized. These shapes help give each piece that unique Northwest Native Canadian Indian art look.
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