There is a special place in our hearts for artists who live big, bold and fully committed to their creative mission. Their vibrant lives act as a strident call to action that prompts, or rather demands, that we follow their example and explore, experience, and share our personal creativity. We are the voice of this time and place, the generation whose moment has come to write our story within the narrative of humanity.
Spanish artist, Okuda San Miguel is one of those bright lights who motivate us to seek a deeper understanding of where imagination takes us. His work is recognized for its geometric prints and multicolored style and design. There are mythological undertones that speak to the need for meaningful dialogue.
Okuda San Miguel’s mural, “Canada Secret Mountains” has come to Vancouver and resides on a building at 325 West 4th. The stories of the British Columbia’s west coast, embedded with Okuda’s insights, has been written for all to see and experience.
May we answer an artist’s call to action and, today, live big lives.
“The role of the artist is to ask questions, not answer them.” Anton Chekhov
The ubiquitous compound, consisting of two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen in every molecule, supports our very existence and safeguards our world and all inhabitants that call earth their home.
Water is important – we recognize this axiom.
Do we understand our responsibility to that truth?
In our reality, we are facing profound and complex questions of who will share the clean water? the fresh air? and nutritious food?
We are a global community with global agendas that will demand our full participation and collaboration.
We can count on artists to signal a call to action. Along the Vancouver Seawall that passes by Vancouver Convention West, “The Drop” stands tall, a forceful reminder that life is embedded in drops of water
The idea of permanence imbues feelings of safety and security.
Stability, durability, endurance, constancy – these words allow us to indulge in long-term planning and undertake big dreams that will happen sometime in the future. The assumption of indefinite unchangeability suggests that we have time enough for everything because what is today, will surely be here tomorrow.
Tomorrows are fresh starts and they chose their own destinies. All we are given is a reasonable expectation or likelihood of what may, or may not, occur.
For all our supposed need for permanence, however, what lies within us is something far more profound – the need to explore, to experience the extraordinary, to live big lives. Now, in the present. Not in the opaque and unknown future.
One thing that remains steadfast is our desire for community, for belonging, for a place to call home.
#ChalkTalks – a student project by CityStudio “made by us, for you” appeared in the afternoon and left the same evening.
Thomas Merton, in No Man is an Island, wrote, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” That thought came to mind when I walked under a bridge and experienced this remarkable temporary art installation.
Within a few hours, the crowds dispersed, and the music stopped. By morning, all that remained were a few chalk messages left on cement walls. And yet, what these students said through art, remains with those who experienced the moment.
Perhaps that is the only permanence we need.
It was a late night in early September. The summer warmth lingered, still unwilling to give way to a cooler season. The muted lights of Vancouver’s downtown cafes spilled onto the streets, mingling with laughter, voices and the aroma of fragrant spices.
In the midst of a vibrant night scene, one street commanded a hushed audience fully engaged within a mythological world of light and music. It was opening night of the FAÇADE Festival 2017 that began at 7:30 p.m. and would end at Midnight.
The FAÇADE Festival is a week-long public art production presented by the Burrard Arts Foundation in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Jane Jacobs once wrote, “Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because and only when they are created by everybody.” Artistic expression is the foundation of bringing communities together. When we recognize and share our creative spirit we are building innovative cities that will continue to thrive within a vast global world.
The small tidal island off the northeast coast of England, speaks of a history where truth and myth coalesce into the misty past. Much like Atlantis, the Garden of Hesperides and Camelot, Lindisfarne is recognized as sacred, set apart from the mundanity of life.
The monastery of Lindisfarne, known as the Lindisfarne Priory, was founded by Irish monk Saint Aidan (590-651). Saint Aidan came from the Island of Iona, the centre of Gaelic monasticism, located off the west Coast of Scotland.
The pious Christian King Oswald, who became king is 634, had a problem. Anglo-Saxon paganism was replacing Christianity. He reached out to his friends in Iona, at a time when he considered all was lost.
The first Ionian to respond was Bishop Cormán, an austere man, with a severe message. The people of Northumbria did not accept him. The feeling was mutual. Bishop Cormán’s opinion on the matter was that people of Northumbria were too stubborn to accept his message. It was very doubtful that their hardened hearts would embrace Christianity.
King Oswald was tenacious. And his persistence was rewarded in the personage of Saint Aidan.
Saint Aidan’s influence was felt throughout Northumbria. He ministered to all, whether slave or noble. The people accepted him and his message. To this day, he is known as a Monk holding a flaming torch so it comes as no surprise that he is the patron saint of firefighters.
The Holy Island of Lindisfarne's modest population of less than 200 people welcomes over 650,000 visitors a year. For many, it is a pilgrimage to one of the most significant centres of Celtic Christianity.
We designate special times and places in our lives as being separate from the ordinary. It is a way to seek order in a seemingly chaotic world that challenges our survival instincts. We need a place that embodies a peaceful existence, a gentle retreat from the busyness of life.
Even so, there is a caveat.
If you find your way to The Holy Island, take heed, for a land causeway that links Lindisfarne to the mainland is covered by ocean tides twice in every 24-hour period. In the most sacred of places, we are still very much a part of a complex world that runs on time.