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Artist / Maker : Preston, Mark ; Tenna Tsa Teh
Title : Sands of Time
Date (Execution) : 2009
Geographical Origin : Dawson, Yukon, Canada
Cultural Group : Tlingit
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Narrow horizontal composition of a landscape scene of a delta area. Water foul, sandpipers and vegetation in green, black, grey and red as well as a white moon on the horizon.
Accession # : U014.3.495
Width (cm) : 68.00
Height (cm) : 27.50
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "Many of us forget to be grateful for where we come from or for what we have. However, life has a way of reminding us just how good our lives can be. For me, the stories of the Tlingit people help us to see life in many ways that not only remind us, but give us strength and hope. In this story we discover that the sandpiper, ever so small, and yet it has the power to influence great changes all over the world. One day the sandpipers landed on a sandy beach, strolling up and down through the reeds and over pebbles and into the shallows to feed. With much splashing and loud noise, the orca stated to the sandpiper that the water belonged to the whales and not to the sandpipers. The little bird stood his ground and boldly rebuffed the whales with such a thought. "The water does not belong to the whales" said the sandpiper, "The water belongs to no one." The whale said, "The water belongs to the whale because there are more of us than there are of your kind." The whale then called all his brothers and sisters, as well as distant relatives together to claim the waters. The little sandpiper took on the challenge and began gathering his sisters and brothers, as well as all distant relatives. The waters began to be filled with the heavy bodies of the whales, and the skies became darkened until the sunlight was blocked out leaving the whole world in darkness so that no one could find their way. Finally, with a great noise, the sandpiper called out tot he whale people. "Whale people, we cannot bring this on the world, we are harming everyone because of our pride. All the world is suffering in the darkness that we have created. The sun is no longer our friend, and my brothers have blocked the days. Even the fish are dying from our dispute. If we do not make peace, Raven will smother the flame of the sun, and we too shall pass away into the darkness of all time. If you are willing to share these waters with my people we will give back the day." With that the whales began to swim away clearing the way for the salmon people. Beaches since that time have become a place for peace, a place of refuge, and a place of rest from all wars."