This is a real place, though I’m sure “Heroin Alley” is not the municipal name. The actual alley is right at the start of Vancouver’s downtown east side between Hastings and Pender at Cambie, looking onto Victory Square. It is where a lot of addicts go to shoot up.
Aesthetically, I always liked the contrast of the red bricks against the greenbelt and the dramatic lighting one only gets at certain times of day in certain alleyways. Moreover, the composition seemed kind of symbolic: dark alley looking onto the light, tunnel through to greener landscapes, yada yada. There’s a metaphor for surviving or for overcoming stuff. It’s still hopeful. As for the whole picture, I can kind of see an anguished face in the building itself.
I’ve been told these tall verticals are harder to hang, but this one just had to be door-sized.
Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 30″
Located at: Solus Corporate Collection