Monday, June 1, 2015

Whales Stemming The Tide In White Rock

WE SHARE this planet with all sorts of creatures ... some we rarely see other than in zoos. Although there is no greater excitement than to spot whales in the wild in BC, seeing them hover on a wall over passersby is also a treat.

The mural in White Rock titled Gray Whale Family was completed in 1984 by Robert Wyland. It is one of one-hundred whale murals the artist has done throughout the world. It is impossible to know how many more years the painting will escape the jaws of big development.

Wyland also did a mural in Vancouver, BC, called Orcas. Its fairly recent demise to make room for a high-rise is covered in Vancouver Street Blog.

All these works are subject to changing times that some call progress and others call a shame. More importantly, real-life whales are also in jeopardy. With recurring oil spills and global warming impacting ocean homes, environmentalists seem to be in over their heads sometimes when trying to turn the tide against public opinion that refuses to see a problem.

Wyland is trying to bring awareness in his own unique way as an artist. He says at his Foundation site: “We know now that water connects all the countries of the world. Our goal with these projects over the last three decades has been to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public. The health of our ocean and waterways are in jeopardy, not to mention the thousands of marine animals and plants that face extinction if we do nothing.”

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. A beautiful way to call attention to a terribly sad fact of life. Or more than one I guess. The whales and the warming seas. And the rush of progress without regard for open spaces.

  2. A great conservation message. I love the murals. Especially the whales. Enjoy your day and have a happy week!

  3. Oh, that is so beautiful!! A whale of a ride indeed!! Terrific capture for the day! Hope you have a wonderful week!! Enjoy! Thank you as always for your visits/comments on my blog!! I do so appreciate them!!

  4. I was sad when they tore that building down with his painting on it. Too bad it was not conserved in some way to blend into the new building.

  5. Wonderful post about sharing our space with beautiful creatures~ Great shots!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  6. Great mural. I'd heard of this artist before, but had forgotten. Were I rich, I would travel the world in search of all his murals.

  7. What a gorgeous gorgeous mural!

  8. Oh goodness, I am sad to see that whale wall disappear. It has brought so much pleasure. Really love the photograph you posted, though, and will appreciate it all the more, knowing all things in life are temporary. What an interesting and thoughtful post, Maria. I think I had looked up Wyland at one point, but had totally forgotten his name. His message, beautifully conveyed in your post, is so important!

  9. I too have seen the White rock mural but now know much more about it, thanks Maria.

  10. Thank you, Maria, for the introduction of such impressive large outdoor murals of whales and other ocean life. I searched if I can see one of Wyland’s murals in Japan to find orcas swimming freely on the ceiling of a building, “Orca Heaven”, in Yamagata Pref. When I travel to north, I’d like to see it in person.


  11. It's such a landmark that to see a building in it's place will shock so many people. Did they ever put the new towers up on Thrift? Where the credit union used to be? White Rock certainly doesn't look like it used to.

    And that's a shame indeed.


  12. For sake of clarity, there are no current plans to remove the wall that is on Russell and Johnston, as far as I know. However, there were plans in the past to demolish the smaller building used as a bank when the two adjacent high-rises were built. I believe it was public outcry and the owner of the building at the time that put a stop to it then. My point is that developers often have their way in the end so unless people remain vigilant what is here today could be gone tomorrow.


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