A Building Transformed

 

A building is defined as a structure with a roof and walls.  This simple description holds the complexities of our world.

We live, learn, play and work in buildings They are a construct of humanity’s need to seek shelter and safety, a place to call home, raise children, create memories, build community. Schools, stores, factories, hospitals, entertainment centers – all have walls and roofs.

Buildings hold our conversations as well as our endeavours to fashion living spaces that reflect our values and cultural identities.

These were the thoughts as I discovered Ruben Sanchez, and the building he transformed within a few days with vibrant colours and the narratives held deep within the fabric of Vancouver’s history.

Ruben Sanchez reminded me that buildings tell our stories.

“The idea behind it was to create a forest showing local indigenous tales like the magic canoe, and showing the human touch in the wild, which is what Vancouver means to me, a city placed in the middle of the wilderness.” Ruben Sanchez,  2018

 

18 Comments

  1. Resa

    Sigh, it’s such a wonderful thing how art transforms a building, a street. I keep thinking I should give up my GLaM blog and focus on Art Gowns. Then I see this. Now I must log out of Art Gowns, and go post on GLaM. Hey, if you can manage 8 blogs and Twitter… I can do 3 blogs, (I almost completely ignore one) and hobble along on Twitter.
    Really, that Twitter moves so fast!

    1. Clanmother

      Oh Resa – I love your GLaM blog. Yes – you can do it! There have been weeks, even months between my posts, but I find that writing and communicating with others gives me a clearer understanding of the subject matter. Writing keeps our minds active, alive, ready for the next adventure. I agree – twitter zooms. A fellow blogger sent me this link “My Day” by Eleanor Roosevelt, which was her daily column that first began in 1936. It really is a blog post format. What a fabulous style! They are short clips but they give a wonderful sense of who Eleanor Roosevelt was. https://www2.gwu.edu/~erpapers/myday/browsebyyear.cfm

  2. valeriedavies

    What a glorious painting/mural… vibrant uplifting and utterly joyful… now fortunate you and the rest of Vancouver is to have the opportunity to enjoy and savour art like this…
    I loved reading the beautiful comments of you and your readers too – such a treat visiting your civilized sensitive intelligent blog, dear friend, with love,Valerie

    1. Clanmother

      You always give joy to my day, Valerie. Over the past few months, I realize that our minds are more productive when we approach life with optimism and creativity. Our world is complex, fast paced and demands our highest level of participation. But it is in the “how” to participate that needs to be considered. I love the Joseph Campbell thought: “We’re out on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.” Thank you for your friendship – your vitality and joy has influenced my life. Hugs!!!

  3. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    I admired the header image while eating a quesadilla and watching two Scarlet-rumped Caciques, one Whooping Motmot and one squirrel quarrel over which one had the munching rights to the fruit feeder by the window! It took about three sessions – between those distractions – to enjoy the history and beauty of this transformation. I especially enjoyed how some of the design is painted in flat design, where in other areas there are subtle shadows to create a delicate ‘tromp l’oeil’ effect. I am writing this offline, but will watch the video the next time I’m online – and can send this in your direction!

    Hopefully your new quest gives you many surprises – to see what’s around the next corner, or what’s tucked behind a garden gate, and that the summer climate is perfect for your outings!

    1. Clanmother

      Good morning from Vancouver. Thank you for pointing out the different perspectives. This is the first time I have ever heard about the tromp l’oeil’ effect so I had to look it up. It is French for “deceive the eye:” – an optical illusion that depicts objects in three dimensions. I am going to go back and view the building through your eyes. Vancouver is experiencing a growth in murals – they are appearing all over the city. It’s exciting to see an explosion of colour transforming neighbourhoods. Without art and creative endeavour, we would not reach our full potential as a society. To me, art is in everything we do, from business to health care, to coffee houses, to schools, to gardening and dance. Check out this link – I think you will find it very interesting. Hugs coming your way. http://www.burrardarts.org/project/vmf-exhibition/

    1. Clanmother

      I loved that description too especially given that Stanley Park, situated in the heart of Vancouver is a staggering 1001 acres. Vancouver is undergoing radical transformation. Everywhere I walk, there is construction of new buildings, especially for housing. Our real estate prices continue to increase as more people move to Vancouver, (which is consistently rated as one of the most livable cities). My plans for this coming year is to photograph streets and buildings as they transition. I will be doing a lot of walking, the best exercise of all!

  4. Liz

    Your post reminds me of chapter 11 of the Tao Te Ching, one translation of which is:

    Thirty spokes join in one hub
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a vehicle
    Mix clay to create a container
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a container
    Cut open doors and windows to create a room
    In its emptiness, there is the function of a room

    Therefore, that which exists is used to create benefit
    That which is empty is used to create functionality
    (see http://www.taoism.net/ttc/chapters/chap11.htm )

    I find this concept fascinating; that solid objects, including buildings, provide function and form, while it is those elements where there is an absence of form which provide the true value for our lives.

    Thank you for such a beautiful reminder to celebrate all the ‘nothingness’ around us! 🙂

    1. Clanmother

      How very well said – I have goosebumps when I consider the idea of celebrating the “nothingness” around us. This idea came to me when I watched a building being torn down. The rooms were exposed to the outside, piping and rebar askew. I imagined the conversations, the laughter, the debates that occurred within this walls. Those elements stay in our memories while the memory of the building passes. Have you ever noticed that when a new building comes into being, we forget what occupied the space before its appearance. I agree – absence of form provides the true value.

      1. Liz

        So true! I recently made note of a quote from Dorothy Whipple’s novel They Knew Mr Knight: “..men of all ages going to shops and offices…smartly dressed girls; children going to the schools. All these would emerge later from [their houses], but as yet they lay in their beds, hidden from each other by the decencies of brick wall and drawn blind.” It struck me for the first time how very close we are to other humans in this way, even though when we are at home it feels like we are closeted away from the world. It is fascinating to give a moment’s thought to the goings on just the other side of the wall… 🙂

      2. Clanmother

        I read somewhere (not sure if I remember it all correctly) that Maya Angelou believed that there would be a time when science would be able to lift voices and thoughts off the walls of buildings. This was based on the idea that when you enter a room, you can feel the emotional state of the occupants. I think that writers must have this sixth sense.

      3. Liz

        What an incredible thought. I really hope it does happen some time. Meanwhile, how lucky we are to have access to such wisdom and insight as the legacy of the remarkable Maya 😀

  5. Ms Frances

    Thank you for posting this local Artwork and for your commentary with it. I have just taken a few minutes to look closely at the derails.. Your take of the building’s whole length is very
    interesting. I notice that the Artist’s note includes “indigenous”, I wonder if this indicates that he is from First Nations. I find the whole side of the building a colorful, thoughtful and
    sensitive presentation. I can only imagine the wooden side before this transformation.

    1. Clanmother

      If you look very closely, there are many stories embedded in the vibrant colours. I wish that I had taken a photo of the building prior to its transformation. Alas, we need to embrace an artist’s perspective and see the possibilities and opportunities hidden within the “ordinary.” I am finding that there is no “ordinary” – just extraordinary in our lives. So glad you enjoyed the photos!

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