C.S. Lewis, in Out of the Silent Planet, writes about a people who mate only once in their lives, and it’s so perfect and satisfying that they spend the rest of their lives singing about it. Kokanee Salmon are similar in that they spend their entire lives leading up to the one time they’ll spawn before dying. I tried to capture this feeling with the dyed paper illustrating their lives being poured out behind them as they move towards the irresistible light which draws them.
Kokannee are simply landlocked sockeye salmon and are native to the western United States. They do inhabit Lake Nantahala, NC, which is about two hours from Chattanooga.
Besides being semelparous (meaning that they only spawn once in their life), Kokanee are silver for most of their lives but turn red and gold for the spawn. Males and females compete for both the best nests as well as the best mates. Females dominate based on size. For males it’s size as well as extreme body features such as the dorsal hump.
This pair of Kokanee was printed using oil-based inks on hand-dyed Ma hemp rice paper. It was finished with India ink and watercolors and wet mounted for longevity.
It's outer dimensions are 24 x 30 which is a standard frame size. The print could be custom framed or would drop into any standard frame purchased at a store.