2 minute read

About the Street Painting Design

This artwork is intended to be uplifting and beautifying to our neighbourhood. This is our frst time making a street painting and we know it’s far from perfect! We hope people will understand we 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 collaborative designs and street paintings in the future. For several months we reached out for ideas and images 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. It may have been hard for people to imagine the end product, so now that we have done one, we hope it will be easier to engage neighbours in the design process next time - and YES! we want there to be a next time! We asked local artists for their feedback. We also sought guidance from our Indigenous

neighbours, including members of the Squamish Nation (one of the three host Nations, also including the Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam) who reminded us that in pre-colonial times this neighbourhood was an Indigenous village site called Kumkumalay.

Advertisement

The Design Elements

The turtle in the centre represents Turtle Island - the Indigenous name for the continent on which we live. Around the turtle is a lotuslike fower 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 for change: redress, land back, and decolonization. Also here is a red hand print 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, a friend we lost this year who brightened our lives on this corner. 18

The surrounding eight ovoids are Coast Salish form lines that are very prevalent in nature: you can see them when you cut 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. Each eye is one of the colours of the medicine wheel: yellow; red; black; and white, and inside the circle of each is a sacred medicine of Turtle Island: tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar.