On this 1st National Day for Truth and Reconciliation our thoughts all day have been of the generations of children who died alone, away from their families whilst attending Indian Reservation Schools here in BC and across the country, together with thoughts of their families, those who survived, and all the communities still grieving this unbearable legacy every day.
We began the day walking the trails of the Pacific Spirit Park, the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) people. The orange shirts we wore were designed by the Tsimshian artist Morgan Asoyuf. Thank you Morgan.
From the trails we joined so many others at the Vancouver Art Gallery and were moved by the powerful and heartbreaking display on the Gallery steps together with the sight of 6,128 orange ribbons placed in the gardens opposite by the Haida artist Tamara Bell to honour and remember the lives of all the children lost at the residential schools. We then joined many hundreds of others in the Gallery Square and hope the love and support shown by us all will help in the healing and ease so much of the pain we witnessed today.
2020 look back #4
No surprise that the Pacific Spirit Park should feature in my 2020 look back. This Vancouver jewel has been a sanctuary for us since the beginning of Covid-19. Walking its trails surrounded by these majestic trees has sustained and uplifted us every day as we experienced the seasons changing month by month, the colours of the leaves so often luminescent in the sunshine beneath a blue, blue sky. We have never taken for granted how fortunate we are. Hopefully you have enjoyed visiting with us too.
2020 look back #3
Perhaps the darkest day amongst too many dark days in 2020 was May 25, the day we witnessed George Floyd murdered by asphyxiation in real time for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This barbaric criminal act resulted in condemnation and demonstrations across America and around the world and it highlighted many other crimes against the black population by rogue police officers including Breana Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Eric Garner and so many more.
Inspired by the words of President Obama and in support of those marching for Equality, Justice and Freedom in New York and across America today, including here in Vancouver. “Juneteenth is a time to recommit ourselves to the work that remains undone. We remember that even in the darkest hours, there’s cause to hope for tomorrow’s light.” Barack Obama, 2016.
Sadly last week on December 22nd the name of 47 year old Andre Maurice Hill must be added to the list, unarmed and shot by a white police officer in Columbus Ohio.
What better way to wish everyone Merry Christmas on Christmas Day than with nature’s “carpenter”, this beautiful pileated woodpecker captured hard at work in the Pacific Spirit Park this week; and a special thank you on this special day to all of our health care and front line heroes who can never be thanked often enough.
Walking along the Lily of the Valley Trail in the Pacific Spirit Park today I wondered why tree bark was dropping on top of me. Well, here’s the answer, a hard at work woodpecker back at work after Labor Day.
No words, just 🐝 happy amidst all the anguish and enjoy.
The Last 100 DaysOur world has changed so much over the past three months. This mini retrospective of some of my drawings and paintings, attempting to reflect the tumultuous times we have been living through, show moments of gratitude, heroism, loss, remembrance, inspiration, and protest. Let us hope that at the end of the next 100 days we can all be looking forward to the change that is so desperately needed, as we remember John Lewis and Rev. CT Vivian, two icons of the Civil Rights movement who died on 17th July.
Five years ago today I posted a similar retrospective of the then previous 100 days in the studio. My paintings reflected a very different world for me as you will see if you visit Studio 365: Day 200
Today is Bob Dylan’s birthday. He was born on May 24,1941. He wrote Blowin’ in the Wind in 1962 with lyrics that seem as relevant today as the times they were written for.
How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind
The wind blowing in the Pacific Spirit Park Regional Park, Vancouver.
Happy Birthday Mr Dylan