Presence by Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva

Every year, I wait for August to arrive. This is the month when Vancouver comes alive with colour, music and mural artists. From August 4-22, 2021, the Vancouver Mural Festival will transform 11 neighbourhoods with 60+ new murals and 40+ live shows. There will be mural tours, public talks, and community events.

I will be heading out to the streets in the next few days to meet up with these amazing artists who will be creating their masterpieces within this two week time period.

Tonight, I want to go back in time to the 2020 Vancouver Mural Festival when I watched Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva bring to life her mural, Presence.

A visit to Graciela’s website “Animalitoland” is a life-affirming experience.

Animalitoland” is an emotional refuge identified by a strong presence of light & color, and Graciela’s signature characters. They invite you to lower your guard and investigate yourself, without judgement or rush. She hopes that sharing your findings will help building better bonds with yourself, and each other.” 🙂Graciela Gonçalves Da Silva

For more information on “Presence” please view this link: Presence

44 Thoughts

    1. Thank you for joining me virtually, Robbie. We are in the middle of Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver (I’ve always liked that name – Mount Pleasant). A few steps away is one of my favouite bakeries that offers delicious scones and a great cup of coffee. I wanted you to know that you have inspired me to get out my recipe books for scones. Come September, when the heat has abated, I’m heading into the kitchen to celebrate scones and friendships. Sending hugs along with my gratitude.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are so right Robbie! Mount Pleasant does belong in The Pilgrim’s Progress along with The Slough of Despond, and Palace Beautiful. I loved that book. I am in awe of your reading schedule considering your many marvelous projects, blogs, events, etc. You continue to inspire me to find more time for reading. Sending hugs!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Shey – I enjoy our conversations and our walks!! Thank you so much for stopping by.

      I especially appreciated Graciela’s thoughts on “Presence” because it seemed to relate to all areas of creative endeavours, As a writer, you allow readers to explore and experience emotional shifts through your marvelously flawed characters. That is the beauty of the human experience – it is our “flaws” that allow us to embrace all of what our days bring us. But I digress…. Here is the thought from Graciela’s website:

      “This ideal state of peace, is the scene represented in the mural. But before and after getting a moment of peace, we usually go through wild emotional shifts. A good way to start dealing with this, is to check in how you’re doing. If you feel “good or bad” keep digging, learn specific concept…” http://animalitoland.com/2020/09/05/presence-ii/

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ‘That is the beauty of the human experience – it is our “flaws” that allow us to embrace all of what our days bring us.’ My God, that is so true. I have always felt if we were perfect what would the world –ie life–have to show or teach us be the days good or bad. And there it is in Graciela’s words too. Emotional shifts. Thank you for the lovely comment. Truly xxxxxxxx

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I really enjoyed this mural and I am delighted that I was able to have a brief chat with Graciela while she was finishing up the mural. It is amazing what these mural artists accomplish within such a short time. I imagine there is a great deal of preparation before the work begins. Thank you for stopping by!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. An incredible initiative. I look forward to your posts about it each year! Thank you for allowing us to join you from across the miles in celebrating all this wonderful creativity. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so grateful for our ability to share our cities, Liz. I am thinking about our visit during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (loved that jazz band), the conversation over tea at the National Museum of Scotland and dinner at Howies Restaurant! Cities are filled with stories and creative endeavours – it is amazing to be part of the history simply by living in them. Sending many hugs. Off to read the next chapter of #KaramazovReadalong!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Aladin! We have had an unusual summer in Vancouver too, starting with the June heat wave in Vancouver. We have had very little rain and lots of sunshine. Smoke has come to our city from the forest fires in the interior of British Columbia. This week we are a little cooler, which will be a relief for the artists who work in the sunshine. Thank you for stopping by!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the music that went along with the video, Dave. When I first started creating videos, I looked for royalty free music which is offered via several websites. I was lucky to find Epidemic Sound which offers a Creators License, which allows me to use their music, for a nominal fee, without free of take downs. What I like most about this arrangement is that musicians are compensated for their excellent work. There are so many brilliant musicians and singers. I am so glad that you joined me in Vancouver.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I knew that you would enjoy this mural, Marina. What is most interesting is that the paint from the 2016 murals are still vibrant and the murals as fresh as when they were first painted. I walked by “Presence” a few weeks ago. It is still as brilliant as it was when it first was created. Sending many hugs!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. The Vancouver Mural Festival was launched in 2016. Over the years, what started as an idea has become an much anticipated event. The VMF’s mission is to create meaningful experiences that connect art and people. Their vision is to build a society that deeply values art and culture. Thank you so much for stopping by, Meg!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I greatly enjoyed the video, and I spent a little time on the Animalitoland website learning more about the meaning behind the artist’s work. I still find it hard to conceive how a painter can work on such a large scale.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My thought exactly, Liz. How do they see their work large scale? They must have made preparation in advance but that doesn’t explain how they take the idea from small to large. I have seen some artists draw the outlines before painting, but even so, how do they imagine the scale? And all is completed within the 2 weeks. There is genius at work!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Julie. I remember this day very clearly because we had a day of sunshine but without the heat of this year. Graciela was asking everyone who passed what word came to them when they saw “Presence.” She collected the words and added them to the mural. I admire her dedication to her artistic spirit. I believe that any creative endeavour is a calling. This is on her about page: “Attracted to the unknown, in 2014 she quit stability altogether to become a full time artist, world wide nomad.” http://animalitoland.com/about/

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Wouldn’t that be absolutely wonderful, Resa. You have the very very best ideas. I was thinking of you when I was walking the neighborhoods in search of murals. YOU were the one who inspired me from the first. Remember the mural photos that I sent you several years ago. I think the building will eventually go, but I have many photos to remember. I often wonder if they can reconstruct the wall elsewhere. Thank you, my dear friend for joining me at Mount Pleasant.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. OMG! Rebecca, I just got this in my email!!!
    From artist Reid Edgeworth:

    Hello Resa,

    Thank you for having such a passion for graffiti and mural art, and for the time, effort and talent you put into documenting this art form. I’ve done a few walls in Winnipeg and was able to revisit them through your site. When I was younger, I didn’t bother to properly photograph my work. Thanks to you I’ve had a second chance to collect some images from an earlier time in their history.
    With your pictures and website, you’ve done a great service for the mural community. Thanks again.

    Reid

    Liked by 3 people

    1. OMG Resa!!!!! I have goosebumps reading this comment. What a thrill this must be for Reid. I agree with him – you have inspired me and others to appreciate what mural artists give cities. They bring art to where we live. I especially appreciate Reid’s words: “With your pictures and website, you’ve done a great service for the mural community.” I would add to Reid’s comment – you have done a great service to our blogging community. Sending many many hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for joining me on my mural treasure hunt. I’m heading out this week now that the temperatures are not in heat wave territory. I am in awe of mural artists’ ability to see large scale and to complete a project is a short space of time. These murals unfold with speed and accuracy. The signs say that “artist are at work”. I think they should add the word “genius” to the signs.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad that you joined me at “Presence” – Graciela was the epitome of graciousness. She welcomed everyone to participate. I simple don’t know how she created this mural with such a short period of time. Sending many hugs back on the wing.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, Rebecca! I guess August is the time to visit Vancouver. 60+ murals is beyond wonderful and with music on top of that. Thanks for sharing the stunning work of Graciela. What a beautiful and “present” piece. I love the expression, the smile, the serenity, and the softly blending colors. A gorgeous post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I delighted you enjoyed this mural, Diana. I was thrilled to meet up with Graciela as she was finishing up the mural. We talked about how art creates a sense of belonging. Her commitment to her calling and to the communities where her murals are displayed is heartening.

      Liked by 2 people

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