Last Light, 2019 by Kim Dorland

Over the past couple of weeks, the Olympic Village Skytrain Station, did not feature any murals. Usually there is an art project affixed to the glass windows that lead into the Station.

Why were the windows without artwork, I wondered? I explored other Skytrain stations and found murals continued to showcase amazing artists.

And then, the day came…

It was early morning when I boarded the Skytrain to meet up with my mother, Frances, and sister, Sarah, in North Vancouver. The Station windows, devoid of art, mirrored the passersby and traffic from the busy street. Upon my return a few hours later, a single mural covered the windows, with a powerful message that seemed to come from the depths of earth.

Last Light, 2019 by Kim Dorland

I invite you to share my first glimpse of Kim Dorland’s Last Light.

Last Light, 2019 by Kim Dorland

The original acrylic on canvas triptych entitled Last Light by Kim Dorland is featured in the Audain Art Museum’s Permanent Collection of BC art. The painting depicts a view from Spanish Banks Beach in Vancouver to Light House Park in West Vancouver.

A central yellow human skull-like form with an oblong body that hovers between the mountains appears to cry out for the forest and echoes a similar figure in Edvard Munch’s famous late nineteenth-century painting The Scream. In the case of Dorland’s work, such an expression of human anxiety is related to the ongoing climate crisis. (From the signage)




Canada Line Public Art Project 2021-2022

InTransit BC Olympic Village Station

51 Thoughts

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Olympic Skytrain Station. Public art comes to where we are and is not confined to four walls. They sustain the ravages of wind, rain, snow, sun and still keep the message strong within the artwork. The music is amazing isn’t it. I have a creator license with Epidemic Sound which allows me to use their music and give back to creative musicians. It is a win-win arrangement!

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for joining me at Olympic Village Skytrain Station. Public transit is the best place to feature public art. According to TransLink, annual ridership in 2018 was 160 Million with a daily ridership of approximately 526,400 (Q3 2019). Public art comes to where we are.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh Liz – I learn from you!!! Now that we are on #WarAndPeace2022, I am looking into Russian art of that time. I discovered that Leo Tolstoy’s favourite composer was Chopin. And now I have discovered that he wrote a book – “What is Art?” I found the book on Amazon.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Olympic Village Skytrain Station, Klausbernd! I found the 2019 exhibition that showcased this particular mural. I thought that the art gallery may have increased the size of the mural for the public display, but this link will show that it was the size of the original painting.

      Thank you for your warm wishes for the pre-Christmas time. Sending much love and many hugs to my dear friends, The Fab Four of Cley.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you came across the miles to meet up with me at the Olympic Village Skytrain Station, Shehanne. Kim Dorland was born and raised in Alberta and lived in Vancouver for 5 years. He has now moved to Toronto (Resa’s side of Canada). I understand that Canada’s Group of Seven and, specifically, Tom Thomson, was a strong influence in Kim Dorland’s creative journey. Dorland’s landscapes are a nod to the tradition of Canadian landscape painting, popularized by the Group of Seven. But he gives these landscapes a twist – he depicts forests with traces of human contact including graffiti and litter.

      Tom Thomson is a Canadian legend, his paintings captured the spirit of the North, of who we are as a nation. I have added an excellent video created by The Dulwich Picture Gallery in the UK that will give you a wonderful overview. I know that you will feel the adventure, and poignancy of a life well lived.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for joining me at the Olympic Village Skytrain station. It is indeed a busy location – Skytrain riders, passersby and traffic will see this message. Connecting public art and public transit brings art to the streets. Kim Dorland is a Canadian Artist. I have read that he draws inspiration from his days as a teen growing up in Red Dear Alberta.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. When I first saw this mural, I felt an immediate and profound visceral response to the embedded message. I agree, Robbie, that it is the creative community that alerts us to danger, whether it be art, poetry, writing, dancing. I believe that there are many that have responded to this call to action, especially given the most recent weather patterns. Thank you for being a writer.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Many years ago, when I was 18 a friend introduced me to Jane Goodall. It was Jane Goodall’s first book, if I recall correctly – In the Shadow of Man. I have been following her ever since. I agree – forecasts are simply forecasts and are open to change and interpretation.

        I carry this quote with me as a reminder of what I can do: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Jane Goodall

        Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree, Linda. Art touches us in different ways. When we view a painting, we bring all of our experiences, ideas, insights to that encounter. It is as if we are connecting with the painter via the artwork. I have also found that my appreciation for a painting changes and increases, as I gain more insight and understanding of the artist. Many thanks for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I was thinking of you especially when I photographed this mural, Resa. I am so pleased when Canadian Artists are featured. I knew immediately that Kim Dorland had chosen Spanish Banks for his mural. I found a short video of Kim Dorland at home that I think you will find very interesting. He has moved from Vancouver to your side of the world – Toronto.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thank you for your invitation to see Dorland’s “First Light”, really beautiful. I think that due to Covid a lot of the usual Christmas decorations have had to wait and adjust. This painter had an unusual method of painting that I did not know about until I read that he uses heavy layer of paint. Several comments to do with this. A very beautiful art in a public place for many to enjoy! ! As one commented: “No two people see art in the same way”, So true!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed this post and the robust conversation that surrounded Kim Dorland’s mural. I found his 2019 exhibition at the Equinox Gallery. And I found an excellent short video interview that you will enjoy! I agree – we all see art from our personal perspective. And that perspective can change over time as we gain more insight into the painting.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Skimming through the comments, Rebecca, the word ‘powerful’ kept appearing again and again. And this word captures this artwork so aptly.
    I also thought the music choice for your well choreographed video was indeed a deserving accompaniment. Well done to you and to the artist; Kim Dorland.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed the video. This was the first time that I was introduced to Kim Dorland, who was born and raised in our neighboring province of Alberta. He attended Emily Carr University in Vancouver and has a deep love for nature and the environment.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. As I read this story, Rebecca, joy over the visit with your sister and mother was my first reaction. You’ve been under such harsh restriction in Canada, but you’re fortunate to have mass transit. I’m afraid here in the U.S. many cities are sorely lacking this critical infrastructure. We also have so many suburbs that people are forced to commute by car every day. I feel bad for taking an Uber!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, Mary Jo – we have just learned yesterday that restrictions are being re-introduced, especially for travel and for large gatherings. Infrastructure is a huge challenge. Our city planners see the need for public transit and are taking a proactive measures to enhance the transit system. There is a major project ongoing now that will connect Vancouver even more. However, we are not at the level of Britain and Europe where trains and public transit have had a head start. Canada and the US have vast distances to cover and there are weather consideration. The logistics of grocery shopping, driving young children to school in winter and other daily activities is complex. The idea of “mixed use” planning is gaining more attention these days. That is zoning that blends residential, commercial, cultural, instructional or entertainments uses into one space. So grocery shopping will be one block away. But again, this takes time and $$. My dear friend, don’t feel back for taking an Uber!! Sending hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

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