Public Art Registry
All My Favourite People Are Animals
Photo: Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
All My Favorite People are Animals - photo by Blaine Campbell
730 East Hastings Street
VPL nəә́c̓aʔmat ct Strathcona Branch Library
Artwork is located in the front lobby on both sides of the wall area to the left of the front doors.
Civic
2017
Bronze and 1 way mirror
Site Work
In place
City of Vancouver
Description of work

All my favorite people are Animals is a sliding door panel made of cast bronze that sits in front of a one‐way mirror. The small area between the mirror and the door is lit during library opening hours.

Artist statement

The artwork responds to the architectural and cultural context of the VPLʼs new nəә́ca̓ ʔmat ct Strathcona Branch Library. It aims to highlight a sense of community despite visible economic and cultural diversity of the neighbourhood.

The form is inspired by animals from the Strathcona neighbourhood, the historical precedent of narrative bronze doors in relief, and the phenomenon of “Head in the Hole” photo boards. Conceptually, it responds to the colour and texture in the community (particularly the murals), and the desire to identify oneself as part of a community.

Bronze doors are heavy and have a ceremonial quality. Often covered in narrative reliefs, they are an early form of storytelling. What is the narrative here at the Library? The name, nəә́ca̓ ʔmat ct, loosely translates as “we are one” in the Musqueam language, and the artwork responds to this sentiment. Introducing animals into the artwork is a way to identify all the library patrons as “one” across a loose geographic area without picking out and representing cultural differences which, while is important to celebrate diversity, becomes tricky when it becomes a symbol of ownership and belonging.

We all have an innate desire see ourselves in the world around us and understand that we belong somewhere. Through identifying with a character, a cultural symbol or in the capturing of a moment that contains us (the selfie), we place ourselves within a
certain context. The artwork takes the form of ʻHead in holeʼ photo board to create a situation in which people of all ages can simultaneously identify with a character/animal, and see themselves within it. It is a sculptural activation of the imaginative process involved in reading. The holes provide the opportunity to see yourself in the mirror as the animal from a distance, or they invite you to peer inside.

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