Public Art Registry
Monument for East Vancouver
Photo: Robert-Keziere
Monument for East Vancouver - photo by Robert-Keziere
Monument for East Vancouver
Clark Drive at East 6th Avenue
North West Corner of Clark Drive
Civic-Olympic
2010
Concrete, Steel, Aluminum, Impact Modified Acrylic, LED Illumination
Sculpture
In place
City of Vancouver
Description of work
Freestanding illuminated sculpture
Artist statement
Monument For East Vancouver develops from a graffiti symbol that has circulated for several decades in East Vancouver. It is a symbol that has circulated in largely provisional terms. My idea was to formalize the symbol through scale and permanence. Although its precise origins are not known, the symbol does date back to at least the late 1940s (according to the memory of some senior citizens), which is the beginning of the post 2nd World War period. Its roots may be linked to the Catholic inscription of East Vancouver culture at that time, home as it was to many Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans. Over the years, the symbol has been adopted as an emblem for East Vancouver as a whole but its appearance has generally been tentative rather than overt. The lack of overtness is, I feel, symptomatic of the underlying meanings that the symbol expresses. These meanings have to do with problems of injustice, inequality, subjugation and the trauma of poverty and acculturation, particularly as it relates to immigrant life. My proposal is for a site that sits on a visually messy and peripheral site in East Vancouver. The East Vancouver symbol is rendered as a 57 foot sculpture that lights up after dark, the word East and Van encircled by a cross delineation that seems to float all on its own. The sculpture faces westward towards downtown, towards the centre. It is an expression of hope and defiance.
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