Public Art Registry
Fish Ladder: Salmon in the Capilano
Artwork has been removed.
Fish Ladder: Salmon in the Capilano
Georgia and Granville (Downtown)
Canada Line Vancouver City Centre Stn (Downtown)
North West Corner
The artwork has been removed from this location.
Solid Vinyl sheets - images; Perforated Vinyl - image borders. (The Vinyl has an adhesive backing)
City of Vancouver
Description of work
Five panel colour photographic mural, depicting salmon swimming or resting in a fish ladder filled with foaming, bubble filled, turbulent water. The salmon are shown as dark and mysterious…wild. The fish images are printed on sold Vinyl, while the borders are printed 50% grey on perforated Vinyl to provide commuters with unobstructed views to the outside of the station equal to 50% of the glass windows. (This was a safety requirement). When viewed from station's interior, the borders are clear. Viewed from outside, they are a semi-opaque grey. From the outside, viewers can see some movement of people travelling through the space to the stairs and escalators. Also, the feeling of the mural changes as the light conditions evolve with weather conditions and time of day, which tends to animate the piece, complimenting the captured movement of the fish and water. The mural panels are designed to utilize the structure of the glass panels and their support hardware as integral elements of the overall image structure. The City Centre Station mural is commissioned two times a year by the Public Art Program in partnership with InTransit BC's Canada Line Public Art Program.
Artist statement
"When I was first asked to submit a concept for a public art piece to be installed at the Canada Line Station entrance at the intersection of Georgia and Granville Street, I visited the site. Of course I knew beforehand what the function of the entrance was, with its stairs and escalators. But knowing about the function of something versus experiencing it firsthand are different. The first leads to an objective, factual kind of understanding, while the latter leads one to a more poetic understanding in which analogous connections can come to mind. Seeing the toing and froing of commuters going up and down the stairs and escalators brough to my mind remembered experiences of salmon migrating up the Campbell River and its tributaries and the eventual return of new, young salmon downstream to the ocean. Seeing that event left me unexpectedly, strongly affected. I wanted to see if I might be able to bring some aspect of it into my work. So I began making a series of photographs at the Capilano Hatchery in North Vancouver. When the City of Vancouver Public Art Department approached me regarding the creation of a public artwork, I was in the early stages of collecting images of Salmon. But I had not yet reached a decision on how I would eventually employ these images. The Canada Line project brought this into focus for me. I wanted whatever image I created for the Canada Line Station entrance to have a strong connection to the function of the site as well as to life on the Coast of British Columbia. I wanted viewers to be able to recognize and appreciate these connections. Further to this, I hoped to trigger people’s thoughts about these wild creatures and how they have exerted such a powerful effect on the rhythm of life along our coast throughout living memory as well as long before that. They have always been central in our cultures and economies. I chose to represent the salmon swimming within a structure that recreates the look of a fish ladder rather than attempting to show them swimming in the wild. I believe this allows viewers to connect my image to the structure and function of the Canada Line entrance, hopefully in a whimsical way. However, the image structure is also meant to allude to our processes for studying the life cycle of salmon, controlling and promoting the continued, healthy reproduction of their various wild species, and ensuring continued future harvests. These fish are full of vitality and a sense of undeterred purpose in the face of all obstacles. They are powerful swimmers that remain wild and mysterious, even when they find themselves channeled through our systems. I have tried to express some of these qualities by catching their images in moments when they are highly animated, swimming through turbulent water filled with swirling bubbles, their bodies dark and unknowable in their watery element." - Jim Breukelman, 2013
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