We're pleased to share news that the following members of the ECU Community have been selected to participate in the next round of the City of Vancouver's Public Art Program — alumna Vanessa Kwan, Associate Professor Diyan Achajadi, and sessional faculty members Brady Cranfield, Hannah Jickling + Helen Reed.
Within the program, emerging and established artists have the opportunity to expand their practice in the public realm and propose new artworks that contemplate Vancouver, its defining features, spaces and neighbourhoods.
Goals of the program include:
- Contribute to a stimulating public realm
- Enrich the experience of the city for residents and visitors
- Support high caliber public artworks
- Mentor artists in producing public art
In May 2017, an open call was made for the City's third artist-initiated opportunity. A panel of curators and artists reviewed 189 applications and made a shortlist of artists based on their skills and potential, quality and innovation of the proposed work, relevance to Vancouver, and clarity in vision in relation to public space. In total, six new projects were commissioned, including those by artists Anne Riley + Cease Wyss and Paul Wong.
Diyan Achjadi is interested in inserting a series of hand-pulled prints into the public realm where digital images thrive.
The prints will show simple objects, often seen on construction sites, and will be installed on temporary construction walls in the city. Contrasting the hand-pulled prints with the glossier advertising posters typically found on hoardings, Achjadi's series will be a monthly abstract dispatch published throughout the city.
She will also produce a book or portfolio of the series at the end of the project.
Brady Cranfield is developing "Weekend Chime," a contemporary take on the factory whistle, once a signal for workers to down tools and leave work.
Cranfield's work will use the technology used in church bell towers to sound a chime at 5pm every Friday, pitched to a familiar interval from "Working for the Weekend," the '80s classic by Vancouver-based band Loverboy.
In a time where the 40-hour work week's rhythms have been disrupted by the gig economy, the decline of union jobs, and round-the-clock connectedness, Cranfield's piece suggests, once a week, that maybe we should be doing something else with our time now.
For Big Rock Candy Mountain, their project initiated with Other Sights for Artists' Projects, Reed and Jickling have been collaboratively working with students at an elementary school in East Vancouver.
Their artist-initiated project will extend their exploration of aesthetics, economics and politics, age-specific taste and taboos - using the medium of candy. As part of this work, they have expanded the field of public art and the artist edition to include chocolate bars, and, for this new project, chewing gum.
Vanessa Kwan proposes a group of bronze sculptures in a public park- oversized depictions of overgrown houseplants: the Two-Headed Aloe Vera, the Top-Heavy Day Lily, and the Overgrown Succulent.
Kwan uses these plants as a metaphor for Vancouverites struggling to cope with inadequate living arrangements as the city grows increasingly unaffordable.
Set in a park surrounded by older apartment buildings, Kwan's sculptures will also support useful park structures such as benches, offering rest and comfort to city-dwellers seeking fresh air in small neighbourhood parks.
We look forward to seeing these new works over the coming year.
Read the Vancouver Sun article by Kevin Griffin.