installed MARCH 29. 2019
I have done several public art and graphic productions projects for our little town of Gibsons. I like to ensure that the potential of the site and ALL the client’s expectations and benefits to the community are not only met – but exceeded. More than simply decoration on a wall.
So here is the “Sharing the Shore” mural concept coming into being.
The Armours Beach site has been redeveloped into a wonderful terraced and accessible park/walkway and enhanced as the local “swimming hole” with the addition of a handsome toilet block with an outdoor shower for bathers. It also anchors the end of the walkable town “loop” with the transition from seawalk to roadway – for which I designed the foot traffic signage and branding several years ago. Town of Gibsons manages the site, Gibsons Rotary Club provided funding & volunteers and local contractors generously offered their skills.
Throughout the year, with a spectacular view of the Sound, the Gap and Coast Mountains it attracts visitors, locals and kids (jumping off the float on that iconic summer day) as well as harbour seals and my favorite perching Cormorants on top of the pilings.
As the swimming float – it is an invitation to plunge.
To cross the boundary from above to below that familiar and constant ocean surface. My long ago scuba diving experience and summer cashier job at the Vancouver Aquarium (1974?) memories began to surface (pun yes). I still dream of all the light, movement, beauty and activity under the sea.
Its there happening all the time – under the sparkling reflections.
I saw an opportunity to help others cross that boundary and raise awareness of the local creatures and sensitive environment within our view. As we swim, walk, boat and paddle – the ones we share this shoreline with, the ones we can and can’t see.
It wasn’t a great leap to visually translate that into the diorama of over/under sea staging for the characters in the drama. I am however the daughter of a very serious naturalist – that insists on the exact and correct information. Something must have rubbed off. I always need visual references – but I am not the undersea expert and must have the best info to educate, inform and raise awareness.
So I went looking for information and seeking guidance – and started working with the staff at our own NEW local Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Center (located at the Gibsons Public Market) Which just happens to be at the other end of the walking loop/seawalk.
How appropriate to include and feature this wonderful community asset & attraction. The Sunshine Coast Regional Museum is also on the walking loop – and of course was integral in providing historic photos and correct verbage. And so my journey of research, design, communication, revision, correction, approvals began. Back in November.
Some projects take form in my creative brain almost immediately. Then it goes to my “production” brain as I investigate material/media, fabrication techniques, site limitations, installation challenges. This gives me a starting place to access production costs, time and labor needed. From the beginning I have a framework of budget/outcome to hang my design on, and provide the client with visual and technical details.