This year, at the 45th annual Alexandra Festival, Artists For A Change respond to climate change and environmental and social issues – through visual, literary and performing art – hoping to encourage positive change.

Two of my works were on display.

PROTESTER (FOR NATASHA) explores public dissent of the TransMountain pipeline project. The work uses three different images of over-painted graffiti in Vancouver, digitally restored to make visible the original message, No Pipelines. Superimposed are words from large-scale graffiti at the former Terminal City Iron Works site in East Vancouver, Did You Say Something? The work also incorporates text from 2018 news articles about the protests at the Kinder Morgan site in Burnaby, replacing the word “protesters” with the word “language”, and presented in a shape inspired by a chain-link fence, to which my friend Natasha attached herself in an act of civil disobedience.

 

PUBLIC VOICES / PRIVATE PROPERTY explores the use of language in public spaces by looking at private graffiti (e.g. No Pipelines, Invasive Species, Justice) as well as public messages (e.g. Dump No Waste Drains to Stream, Private Property No Loitering, Silence). The work montages these images with common urban landscapes (street lights, access hatch covers, outdoor ashtrays, buildings, street scenes) to highlight or develop meaning in an attempt to illustrate some of the tension between the expression of ideas and its censorship and control.