Stories from the streets #1

East Hastings Street in Vancouver has been a really interesting place for me to come to every day. I've been renting a studio for the last month at the Gam Gallery and every day I've seen something I've never seen before. Most days I see people shooting up heroine, dealing drugs or trying to sell stolen goods but some days are special. Some days I see human shit on the front door leading into my studio, or a lost child in the dark of night being helped by police. there is no "normal day in the DTES ( Downtown East Side). There's only a series of chaotic, seemingly unconnected events pilled onto each other and a huge mass of people who call this piss smelling, drug infested lawless place home. Part of me weeps for this area and part of me is deeply inspired. There's something oddly inspiring about sorrow and chaos, I can't really put my finger on it but all the ingredients are there to help ripen a stagnant mind.

I arrived today to work on my projects and was swept into a series of events that I could have never predicted. Today is the 27th Annual Women's March to pay respects to all the women who who have died due to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual violence in the down town east side. The march began right outside my studio door. 

I stepped outside to spend time with the mass of people who were all banging drums, showing pictures of friends and family members who had gone missing or who had been killed and was deeply moved by the drum circle that ensued at the corner of Main and Hasting St with the aboriginal elders. The area that I knew as being somewhat soul crushing with pain became the seen of a group healing ceremony and place of love. 

Within moments of being outside a fire broke out just down the street and 4 fire trucks came barrelling down towards the crowd and people had to spread to the both sides of the street for the emergency to be dealt with. The energy in this area was oozing from everywhere, it was in this moment I decided to go grab my camera.

While I was out taking photos, I ran into an outreach worker named Nelson who just struck up a conversation with me about the area. We walked a couple blocks to go visit what he thinks is one of the oldest standing hand painted signs in Vancouver for the Louvre Saloon. He we was so happy to show me the neighbourhood he spends time in and was really generous with his time and information.  

On my way back to my studio, the news cameras had arrived on the scene to talk to firefighters about the blaze and a really passionate woman took it upon herself to share the sign she made for today's march. This was a beautiful sight to see. I gave her a big thumbs up.

Today started out pretty normal and ended being pretty spectacular. The energy from the random experiences I had and the presence of so many passionate people stayed with me all day. Humans can be pretty beautiful when in their passion. 

Thanks Vancouver, I needed some fire today and you definitely provided.

 

A low rider watching as the fire folks did their thing

A low rider watching as the fire folks did their thing

A gathering of native people banged drums in a private ceremony next to a fire hydrant that was being used to put out the fir

Nelson showing me the Louvre Saloon sign

Photo bombing for a cause

Normal sight in the DTES, thought I'd draw it. 

New works up at Our Town Cafe- Vancouver

Hello vancouver!

I just arrived in town a little over a month ago and have been hustlin' hard to get some quality work out for you all to take a look at. I got lucky enough to score a great spot to show my work right in the heart of the new mural district near Broadway and Main St at a beautiful cute cafe called Our Town.  It's located at 254 E Broadway and I'd recommend you paying them a visit  for all of you who love a down to to earth, chilled out home-y spot to relax and regroup to take on the day.

Big thanks to Dexter, the owner of this cafe, who's been so nice to me through the process of getting this show organized.

Original drawing and framed prints from my new collection  are available for really affordable prices. Don't miss out.

" How often do you take a moment to feel a sensation, to look at your surroundings,  to connect with a stranger or connect with yourself?

These drawings are a collection of my emotions, observations,  and experiences created in the midst of a confusing and busy life in Vancouver.

I enjoy watching and learning about human behaviour and how feelings manifest in the body. The more time I take to  slow down , look listen and feel into my experience, the richer my life becomes.

I want to disrupt the mainstream conversation about beauty and prove that humans and beautiful in all forms. I believe that being vulnerable and raw is the purest, most valuable form of beauty.

I am a Montreal born Artist dedicated to paper, ink and anything raw. I am currently living in Vancouver. "