The Art Rental and Sales program at the Vancouver Art Gallery curates the featured artist in the Barrister’s Lounge at the Vancouver Law Courts. I was offered the opportunity to create a body of work for the June/July period of 2012.
The Barrister’s Lounge presented an opportunity to create a cohesive body of work designed on a foundation of individually successful paintings which possess a strong narrative. The private space is located within the third incarnation of the Vancouver law courts at the Arthur Erickson designed modern buildings on Hornby Street, Vancouver. The migration of the Vancouver courts of law is a mirror of the evolution and growth of the tiny settlement of Granville.
Vancouver’s beauty is undeniable but it is her adolecence and her seeming lack of linear time which is the most intriguing. The accelerated growth of the city may lead you to mistake her for an adult, a confusing assessment when you notice her still defining persona and hear the echos of her parents whispering in the streets.
The structures which have served as houses of justice and commerce over Vancouver’s 150 years are corner stones she outgrew as she fed on a diet of logging, gold, tourism and now shipping and technology. Megaliths of evolving modernism, tangentially growing in size with the population whose well being and growth depend on Vancouver’s ability to morph into adulthood.
It is with this in mind that the subjects of deNova were chosen and the formats designed to complement the Barrister’s Lounge. The three courthouses: Victory Square, The Vancouver Art Gallery, the Smithe and Hornby law courts, fill the 4 large monochrome paintings. The first 2 courthouses are each complemented by five 24″ x 24″ paintings of Vancouver as she appeared in their day. These are based on Public Domain images from the Vancouver archives and the Vancouver Public Library Collections. Our current courthouse is accompanied by four 30″ x 30″ Burrard inlet shipping scenes paying homage to the non-combat ship building contract which Seaspan was awarded and which is changing the geography of the Vancouver shipping industry.