Creation Date



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wood, fishing tackle, bottles, found objects, and etching


Dimensions: 4.5 x 11 x 2 feet (irregular, largest dimensions; overall)

Artist Statement

“And there’s a backwards old town that’s often remembered,
so many times that my memories are worn”
– John Prine

My experience commercial fishing in Bristol Bay, Alaska is a keystone to this piece. Working with my father was a huge part of my journey into adulthood. It formed the relationship I have with him, and with myself in immeasurable ways.

Seventeen vessels that are filled with etchings and objects create vignettes from my history. They are supported both by the faltering wood that was used to build the canneries and camps where I walked, and the seemingly thin but strong webbing where my hands worked. Much of the canneries and buildings are gone now, claimed by the ocean. The webbing and line that we used will last far beyond my life or those of anyone I have known.

My work is about loss, loss because of personal choices but also a changing world, a changing climate, and the change in myself as I am growing apart from my upbringing. This work is about my need to labor, to work to be worthwhile, and how I focus that energy now. The sense of futility in laboring with my art and laboring in the commercial fishing industry carry many parallels.

There are clear lines that I have drawn in my reflection of what fishing was; beautiful, bonding, awe inspiring. There are haunting ghosts of the decisions I have made and how they affect my loved ones. Beneath the surface there is so much more. These memories can only now be seen by looking through new experiences, altered truths and stories that have been told, retold and some never spoken of at all.


© Aurora Lee Galloway, 2015.


Alaska, net