Sunday, January 11, 2015

Underground Art Gallery In South Surrey

DEEP WITHIN an underground parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised this week to find works of art on cement walls and pillars. Since some of the images were duplicates, I assume they are reproductions of paintings by unnamed artists. The bold First Nation patterns brightened the claustrophobic gray spaces where cars squeezed in and out under an oppressively low ceiling.

I have no background information on what these (pictured) creatures represent but perhaps the (top) image is of an oncoming owl or eagle chasing away evil spirits or wannabe car thieves?

I like the rounded frontal view and circular shapes in the side views. Circles can hold special meaning and are often expounded upon by creative thinkers, including Canadian and Cree playwright Tomson Highway who said during a CBC interview, "Native theology works in a different way. There is no heaven, there is no hell, there's just a circle. The circle of life and death that interconnect, and that when we pass away, we leave this planet, we don't go up or down. We stay [in] another part of the circle."

Aboriginal art of the Northwest Coast is normally displayed in BC museums and galleries. But swatches of colour, often depicting animals that teach life lessons, are appreciated wherever found and make dramatic garage d├ęcor.






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16 comments:

  1. I like the simple lines, curves and colours of this First Nation's art. What a great find! And I find their idea of no Heaven and Hell fascinating.

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  2. What a great discovery, Maria; your thoughts on circular images were most interesting. I was also fascinated that you mention Tomson Highway. He is a fine pianist as well as playwright and gave a lecture during one of my drama workshop classes years ago at Concordia. His words inspired me and looking back on that memory, I see that he was ahead of his time in many respects. Anyhow, just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the post :)

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  3. What a great find. I like them.

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  4. I have not seen any of this art genre before and find it fascinating. To reproduce it in such a grey place is a stroke of genius.

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  5. That's a great way to cheer up a parking garage!

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  6. I’m kind of claustrophobic rather about height than width, so I won’t enter such a place willingly, but I wonder if temptation to take photos of such interesting pictures make me forget myself. I’m interested in metaphoric meaning of circle from the ancient times in each native culture. The talk of Tomson Highway is similar to the idea of Mandala (meaning circle in Sanskrit) which represents constantly changing interconnected universe; there is an endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth moving forward in spiral.

    Yoko

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  7. What lovely art! I like the bold colours and simple lines.

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  8. I saw an exhibit in a museum - I think Seattle - of a First Nation Exhibit. The style was very similar to these works of art. I wish I could remember for sure where they were but I was very taken with them. I love this style that tells a story. Beautiful!

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  9. I like all the images that you found, I am fond of native art also.

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  10. I love all them and great shots and what a wonderful sight for you to see!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol
    ps. late in posting this week!

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  11. Life and death being circular rather than linear. I like that concept.

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  12. Who couldn't use one of these fascinating drawings as a talisman (at the very least). I' always enjoy hearing the First Nations legends and learning a little about their Spiritual beliefs, especially when it comes to how they care for the Earth. We should have listened !

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  13. The images are beautiful A surprise to find them in a garage. I love the idea of the circle of life and that we stay in another part of the circle when we pass away

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  14. That's a beautiful surprise to find in a underground garage! What a treat..and definitely a step up from the graffiti that we normally expect.

    Jen

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  15. I love the bold red being used in their art, simple designs. Beautiful photography!

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