The following is excerpted from a press release issued by the City of Vancouver.
City of Vancouver Public Art Program unveiling four Platform: nine places to watch Projects this month. The first two to be presented are coming home and by Robin Roberts eagle woman Shine Ninivem by Selapem Jackson.
Shine Ninivem Selapem Jackson eagle woman This is a digital image of a matriarch eagle dancing under a full copper moon. The work was inspired by the many women in the artist’s life who raised him and provided love, guidance and support. The artist intends for the audience to feel the ability of these women to dance with fierce dignity and courage amidst adversity and pain. In the artists’ own words:
In every era a matriarch emerges. She lives her whole life to serve but she is not a servant. He is a weaver. The attendant of a loom made from passed parts. Its components have been crafted from generation to generation by proud women who hold a transcendent vision of love and unity. The threads of his clothes are souls. Some have heartbeats, others are composed only of memories associated with artistic abandon.
Some wires are of copper and gold. Others have frayed, ragged or torn ends which are beautiful. Despite being a sacred thread herself, she will fix them with the fibers of her frock. His art emphasizes this sacrifice.
This work has been installed at Cambie and 2nd Olympic Village station. This will remain in force till March 15, 2024.
Robin Roberts’ coming homeA pantheon of animals depicted in Northern Haida style formlines on the windows of the Canada Line King Edward station until March 15, 2024. The inspiration for the bentwood box frontlet approach came from the artist sketching while listening to tribal studies professors speak about the Indian Act, reserves, and the creation of residential schools. He found himself constantly creating boxes that represented attempts to limit or box indigeneity.
The work was created in three sections, with the left and right windows depicting a bentwood box frontlet motif and a killer whale, representing the water sphere. The placement of the bentwood box figures on the outer panels was done so that the images would be contained within that box. The center window depicts, from left to right, an eagle with a human figure (Sky and Earth sphere), a mother bear from the story (Earth sphere), and a crow stealing the sun, a salmon egg depicted as the sun ( sky and water area).
The work is presented on translucent vinyl, which partially suggests stained glass windows and the history of religion related to both the artist’s family and the role of the Church in the process of colonization.
Three of Robbins’ grandparents went to residential school, the fourth to day school. Due to Canadian attempts at erasure, there is a concept of the artist returning home to the country.
This work is in honor of that return. Robin reinforces that narrative with depictions of the salmon, known for their difficult return journey, as well as the Haida story of Mother Bear, which itself is a story of transformation and returning home.
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