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 “