Public Art Registry
Spirits of the Realms
Photo: Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
Spirits of the Realms - photo by Rachel Topham
600 block of Beatty Street
600 block of Beatty Street, west side, from Dunsmuir Street to Georgia Street
Civic
2017
Paint
Mural
In place
City of Vancouver
Canada 150+
Description of work

The City of Vancouver, as part of its Canada 150+ program, commissioned a series of six paint and print murals created by Indigenous artists and artist teams. The public art is part of the City’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation and strengthening of relations between Indigenous communities and Vancouverites.

The murals, banners and transparencies were commissioned as part of the City of Vancouver's commemoration of the sesquicentennial of Canada's confederation. Vancouver refocused the national celebration on its indigenous peoples and First Nations, who long precede confederation, and whose resurgence will continue long past the anniversary--hence "150+".

The public art program issued a call for murals in January 2017. The six successful applicant teams were reviewed and chosen by a selection panel of Indigenous artists and art professionals.

The projects were realized throughout the city centre, including projects at the central library, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and its plaza, the headhouse of a Canada Line station, a laneway on the Downtown Eastside, and the lot where the Kanata Fest and the Drum Is Calling Festival were held.

Works variously drew from Coast Salish, formline, and Woodland School forms, presented portraits mixing contemporary and traditional clothing and regalia, and collaged photographic images into abstracted compositions.

Commissioned in the spirit of Reconcilation, the project served to increase Indigenous visibility on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations now known as Vancouver.

Artist statement

This mural is about Indigenous cultures and stories of First Peoples across Canada. The background colours of black, white, yellow and red represent the four directions of the medicine wheel and the three realms (earth, sky and sea) of the peoples who live along the Northwest Coast. The mural is meant to honour all the First Peoples of Canada, their cultures, stories, and understandings.

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