Sgaana Saahlaan Sdings (Two Finned Killer Whale) by Cori Savard (Haida)

Year: 2022


  • Unframed 21 inches x 30 inches

Print Technique: Serigraph

Edition:118, 121/ 125

Artist Statement: 

Sgaana Saahlaan Sdings means Two Finned Killer Whale. The imagery in this print focuses on the two dorsal fins. Attached to the body of the whale, they have no control over their direction or destination. The thin lines around the design represent the spray and the water that rolls off the body of the whale as it emerges from the depths to take a breath. With this new energy, it continues on its journey, facing an ever-changing ocean landscape.

The first dorsal fin represents the discomfort and apprehension that comes with the unexpected changes in our lives. It braces itself for the next wave, the next plunge, engaging in a losing battle against the momentum of the whale. The thin lines between the dorsal fins form teeth, creating a mouth which represents a shared experience and a shift in our mindset. The second dorsal fin represents acceptance, resilience and the positive energy that follows our ability to adapt. Once we recognize our apprehension, we are free to challenge it. To seek out the positive within the negative and move forward with renewed energy.

Meet the Artist: 

Haida artist Cori Savard (Yahl ‘Aadaas) was born to the Yahgu’laanaas Raven clan on Haida Gwaii. Her family moved to Ottawa within a few years of her birth, but her connection to her Haida roots was maintained by weekly visits to the permanent collection of Haida works on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations in Gatineau, QC. Cori returned to Haida Gwaii in 2002, and quickly immersed herself in the art of her ancestors. Exploring 2 dimensional design, cedar weaving, painting and taking part in multiple design workshops taught by Robert Davidson in Old Massett and Skidegate.

Cori is a former recipient of the YVR youth scholarship award as well as the YVR Frank O'Neill visionary award. These awards enabled her to begin and maintain a formal apprenticeship working with renowned Haida artist Reg Davidson in Old Massett. Over the course of 8 years, Cori learned carving techniques applicable to masks, sculptures and monumental works, taking part in multiple totem pole projects.

Cori now lives and works from her home studio in Skidegate, Haida Gwaii and maintains a working relationship with her mentor Reg. She also spent time learning from and working with the late Ben Davidson, expanding her knowledge and skills in painting and carving in his studio and gallery in Skidegate. 

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