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ourgroup300
Sun, 2012-03-18 15:22

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Katrina Ellis-

This path is intended to reflect on the relationship between nourished and neglected spaces. We have compiled a group of images the span from those of old abandoned architecture covered in moss from Courtenay BC to the densely occupied spaces and surfaces on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. In juxtaposing these images I am interested in drawing attention to different ways these spaces are occupied. Some images are of walls where space becomes so important and people have used every inch of the surface to poster messages, and other spaces are barren empty streets with no evidence of human presence other than the architecture itself. Abandoned buildings butt up against murals painstakingly painted for the nourishment and decoration of community spaces. This path also suggests to the viewer the idea of time. Communities building, growing, strengthening and eventually ageing, and falling away.
In her article a “Global Sense of Place” Doreen Massy notes “in the face of all this movement and intermixing, can we retain any sense of a local place and its particularity? An (idealized) notion of an era when places were (supposedly) inhabited by coherent and homogeneous communities is set against the current fragmentation and disruption” It is interesting to look at the similarities and differences of the various places we have juxtaposed in this path in relation to this statement. I think that although there is a dense intermixing of the materials we use to build spaces, the kinds of designs used, the people creating these spaces etc due to increased globalization, it is the people who occupy the spaces that decide how these spaces will operate. Although many of our occupied environments have more similarities visually than they have historically it’s the way that each community chooses to use these spaces that defines place.


ourgroup300
Mon, 2012-03-19 10:58

ourgroup300's picture

The passage of time is an interesting event in any situation, although I must say that it is kinder to the old architecture than to matchstick/vinyl construction. Concrete and rebar just reek of romanticism, cheap building techniques most certainly do not. This path speaks loudly of a reaction, a reaction to perhaps too much structure, too many cold rigid forms, a public backlash to beautify and reclaim some of the magic that natural forms offer us, and plain stucco just does not. The colourful murals of houses and flowers and sceneries suggest a public constent - making the best out of what is built up around them. The vibrant colours offer rhythm for the eyes, a welcome relief from the greying architecture and the constant stifling grey of the west coast sky. Things turn out so much more interesting when we don’t follow the regimented formulas, like surf shacks versus skyscrapers (I do find them impressive, just not beautiful).

-sylwia


msimonlevin
Mon, 2012-04-16 10:51

Beautiful and haunting! I feel like someone has been stalking me as so much of this is exists within my daily perambulations.


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