Public Art Registry
Rewilding: “You want to return to the land but does the land want you?”
Photo: SITE Photography
Rewilding: “You want to return to the land but does the land want you?” by Whess Harman - photo by SITE Photography
510 West 41st Avenue
Oakridge – 41st Avenue station
On the windows of the station entrance facing Cambie Street
Civic
2019
Digitally printed onto adhesive vinyl.
Mural
In place
City of Vancouver
Indigenous Mural Artist Call 2019
Description of work

This artwork is part of a series of Indigenous artwork, commissioned through the City’s Indigenous Artist Call 2019. In February 2019, the City invited proposals for temporary painted murals and digital printed artwork within Vancouver’s public realm, located on the unceded ancestral homelands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh peoples. In April 2019, proposals were shortlisted by a panel of urban and local Indigenous art experts, with six projects then recommended for commission. 

Artist statement

The text in this work is presented with the intention of at first not appearing to be readable to emphasize the difficulty of translating between cultural identities. At first glance the work might appear as an Indigenous design or as graffiti, or like it hasn’t been written in English. In making the work stubborn and difficult to grapple with, it is my hope that I’ve been able to prompt questions: why is this so difficult, where is my place in viewing this, should I laugh once I’ve deciphered the text?

Vancouver is a city that prides itself in being “close to nature.” We are of course close to it: built on top of it, encased in the shores and with a good sightline to the mountain peaks. But this is not the nature that is implicated in the phrase “close to nature.” What this short text work looks at is the assumption that the places we are in are places that want us; and “place” not exclusively where the Nations and their ancestors have lived for time immemorial, but considering the land itself as holding its own spirit and will for or against those who occupy its borders



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