Vancouver was built on industry. Much of the reverential sculptures around False Creek pay tribute to our industrial past, even though most people would just as soon that past never existed. It took years for False Creek to recover from the industrial sludge that killed most of the wildlife, but in the “Hope” category, False Creek sometimes gets visiting whales looking for food.
It’s a hard thing to look back on our industrial past with our present environmental view and not feel squeamish. I remember working for a certain forestry processing place that determined water was okay to re-enter the ecosystem if they threw twenty salmon into the recovery pool and three of those salmon lived.
The cranes are the most lifelike elements in this painting because the cranes represent hard work and manual labour to me. They are an omnipresent feature in Vancouver, particularly in East Van. You see them from every street and every level in every building. They’re huge and easily personified. Many people think they look like an orange-red version of the Star Wars snow walkers.
This painting blends whimsical personification and textural abstraction. I added a sort of fossilized texture on the city of Vancouver. The sails look like bones, the cracks in the sky appear to be years of washed-over grime. Meanwhile, the orangey-red cranes persist in chromatology, vibrance, and motion.
Acrylic on canvas, 20″ x 50″
Located at: Private Collection (Mine!)