Video 1 from ‘DeathMask’ series. The series was initiated in the January 2016 studio month with the intention of using the condemned Vancouver Viaducts as a springboard for the experimental painting. ‘DeathMask’ has since morphed into an journey into understanding complexity, how we thrive on it, it’s importance in the world around us and it’s role in painting.
The month of exploration became dedicated to uncovering complexity in painting within the context of the Vancouver Viaducts which are set to be torn down in favour of urban development. For those of you who are not aware of the Viaducts, they were built in Vancouver in the 70’s as part of a planned freeway system. The plan was blocked but the viaducts have become divisive structures in local politics.
Video 2 in the Death Mask Body of Works. The painting: “The Plaza” is the living room in the city. A safe space for young people to engage, interact, be active, strive for excellence and form strong social bonds. The skate plaza forms a cathedral space both in its soaring roof created by the Vancouver Viaduct and in the attention to detail that the design of the plaza and the elements that make it were given.
Video 3 in the Death Mask Body of Works. The painting 49°16’36.7″N 123°05’50.7″W is a 60″ x 60″ redacted painting about forgetting to remember. The co-ordinates which form the title of this painting and which are also inscribed into the work, is the location for the industrial sized street light which marks the spot of lives changed that are forgotten or that we forget to remember.
This spot at the corner of Gore and Prior where the Viaducts touch street level, was once a row of homes which were part of Hogan’s Alley. It was also part of the story of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
Today it is the location where lives are changed and lost in car accidents and tomorrow it may just be another condo building. Each step in time is a step into memory and finally loosing the signal that there ever was something there to remember.
The first Port Moody, BC painting.
One of the most impressive views in Metro Vancouver is the corner of Clarke and Highview, Port Moody on the East side of Burnaby Mountain. An online grade calculator puts the last little section at a 20 % grade. I heard that this was as steep as you could get but it does not measure up to the 35% Baldwin Street in New Zealand.
The Port Moody decline feels overwhelmingly impressive because it is steep and it plays with optical illusion. From the apex the street swoops all the way down, past Barnet Highway and into Port Moody with one long woosh. The mountains in the distance, which your mind understands to be massive, sit below the horizon line adding to the dis-ease.
The first time I encountered this tiny little section of street was as the passenger in a small, manual hatchback Hyundai which used the neighbourhood corner for a u turn. The distinct sensation was that we were about to topple down the side of the mountain.
The view is spectacular but it was more that this that I wanted to play with in the painting. I wanted you to feel the drop which the photos and the videos do not capture.
These are a few of the videos on my Youtube channel. The easiest way to get new videos is to subscribe to my channel:
In February 2017 I was invited to exhibit the Death Mask body of works created to date and to provide an Artist talk, by the African Descent Society BC. This talk and exhibition was part of the Hogan’s Alley memory exhibition and concert which was part of the Forum on People of African Descent and the UN International decade for people of African Descent.
The transcript of the video can be found here and the 26 minute video of the talk can be found above.
“You are now entering the historic” Original oil painting 60″ x 72″
Part of the “le théâtre de la vie publique” solo exhibition which is hosted by the Festival du Bois and the Société Francophone de Maillardville.
To see the exhibition go to : http://leannechristie.com/theatredelaviepublique
“The streets are ours, carved out of other people’s property. It is the public space which makes our neighbourhoods into safe and interesting communities, or can isolate us in our homes and cars. Their design impacts our experience of the world. Festival du Bois, Société Francophone de Maillardville and Place des Arts are pleased to present work by Vancouver based artist, Leanne Christie who has been exploring streets as expressions of public space “
Opening night for the “Théâtre de la vie publique” exhibition took place at the Place des Arts, Maillardville on the 19 February 2015.
Johanne Dumas, the executive director of the Société Francophone de Maillardville and I met up during the day at the Place des Arts to be interviewed for the segment produced by Jen Muranetz from Shaw’s Go West Coast tv ( http://youtu.be/2B8U1Npx2NQ ).
The audio of Johanne chatting about our meeting and the idea of streets as public spaces was edited from the interview with Jen which I recorded on my own little camera.
Not the part of the Exhibition process that I look forward to the most as I am terrified that in moving the paintings around my studio that something will go wrong. The decision to build custom crates on wheels as well as renting the larger 14′ truck, made the whole process incredibly smooth
Just some fun in the studio : Fashion tips for the painter
Boundry Road, Vancouver is the fence line between Vancouver and Burnaby. The view west from north Boundry Road is a view of arteries carved into the landscape. Thoroughfares for goods, people and dreams.
TED’s first year in Vancouver at the Vancouver convention centre.
Warming up both literally and figuratively.
14 degrees last night and the perfumed air of summer delicately fingering the breeze. Vancouver’s annual Cherry Blossom blooming is picking up pace and my hunt for the 6 paintings which will form the 2014 Cherry blossom Collection of oil paintings has begun.
The wait list for the 2014 collection is building and a closed edition of prints will accompany the original paintings.
The January painting from start to finish tracks the development of the oil painting from her genesis to her completion in 4 1/2 minutes. The monochromatic oil painting was based on the Centerm Terminal at the northern end of Main Street, Vancouver. The terminal which is operated by DPWorld was an obvious choice as she forms such a powerful backdrop to our day to day lives on Vancouver’s Downtown East side.
Building on the foundation of the first 20 minutes. The pace slows but the concentration remains constant as the eye continues to race over the surface of the painting constantly seeking and evaluating. That which is good stays and that which holds no value, not even as an essential point of tension, is disregarded. The latter are not removed but worked through as they may increase in value as the painting progresses. This is the weaving of the painting.
Here it is! A bit of the process for the January Painting 2014. There is still much to explore together but I am thrilled to be able to share with you the first 20 minutes of the painting.
The first 20 minutes are some of the most crucial moments in the life of a painting. It is in these moments that you set the pace, set the focus, set the determination and set the compass of the painting. What happens next is built upon this foundation. Get it wrong now and you know that no matter what happens next, it is never going to truly work.
It is the moment when the ball leaves the bat. You know if you got it right or not.