Phoenix Salmon, 2005
• nootka marble
• 16” H x 20” W x 8” D (41cm H x 51cm W x 20cm D)
• private collection, West Vancouver, BC, Canada
Sculptor Michael Binkley carved this original wildlife stone sculpture of a leaping salmon from nootka marble. This particular variety of marble was quarried at Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. This stone is characterized by its soft grey background colour with striations of white and black and Binkley thought it perfect for the subject. Michael polished the surfaces of the salmon to a high sheen to both accentuate the colours of the marble and to bring a life-like, wet quality to the fish.
“Phoenix Salmon” was created especially for a CityScape community art gallery group exhibition theme about rejuvenation. Binkley carved a dead salmon, draped on the base and purposefully made the metal mounting pin pierce the it. The base is left with a rough chisel finish and this makes the nootka marble appear to be white. This adds to the realism of the dead fish. The title refers to the subject salmon rising up from the ashes of the dead one on the base.
The sculpture was not purchased during the group exhibition, but Binkley did find a collector during his annual Studio Show which followed the CityScape show. However, the patron requested that a different base be carved, as she did not like the image of the dead salmon!