About the Street Painting Design
This artwork is intended to be uplifting and beautifying to our neighbourhood. This is our first time making a project like this and we know it is far from perfect! We hope people will understand we have put in a lot of care and love into it and we welcome feedback and constructive criticism! We look forward to collaborating with neighbours on more mandala designs and street paintings in the future.
For several months we reached out for ideas and images that are uplifting for our community including going door-to-door on the four blocks adjacent to the intersection and setting up art jams in MacLean Park, as well as posting notices to community organizations via email. Honestly, it is a little hard for people to imagine the end product – so having done one now – we hope it will be easier to engage neighbours in the design process next time – and YES! we want there to be the next time.
We specifically asked for feedback from local artists. We also sought guidance from our Indigenous neighbours, including members of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh nation (one of the three Host Nations, also including the Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam) who reminded us that pre-colonial Strathcona was an Indigenous village site called Kumkumalay.
The turtle in the centre represents Turtle Island – the Indigenous name for the continent on which we live.
Around the turtle is a lotus-like flower made up of orange hearts, containing small footprints to commemorate the location of the unmarked graves of Indigenous children whose memory has touched our hearts this year and underscored the need to for change: redress, land back, and decolonization. Also here is a red handprint to represent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Next there is a circle of characters contributed by neighbours, including plants, animals, objects, and a memorial to Gregory Karlen, a friend we lost this year who brightened our lives on this corner.
The surrounding eight orange ovoids are Coast Salish form lines that can be found in many plants, ie when cutting a stalk of rhubarb.
Ta7talíya Nahanee provided artwork for the eyes that form the outside of the circle. The eyes are symbols that come from the local host Nations representing protection. Inside the circle of each is a sacred medicine of Turtle Island: tobacco, sweetgrass, sage and cedar.
Amy & Jade
We’d like to thank the following for their generous contributions:
Holly, Bruce, Griffin and Samaya
Arnt & Val Arntzen
Alex, Chris & Pat Bigazzi
Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee
Woochan and Jiyoon Park
John & Kim Stewart
Pim van Geffen
Val at the park
Susan for the lentil stew
City of Vancouver Special Events & Mural Program
Small Neighbourhood Grants
The Wilder Snail