Big Print Steveston
On September 3 & 4, a team of artists gathered in Steveston at the Imperial Landing parking lot to create seven large-scale prints. The artists, drawn from the Musqueam and Japanese Canadian communities, created seven 4X8 foot prints that are now on window display at 100 – 4300 Bayview, Steveston.
Created outside the sanctity of the studio, a traditional venue for creating print art, Big Print Steveston was an act of ‘taking it to the streets,’ dramatizing the magic of relief printing; the carved blocks, the print process, and the ‘reveal’. The participating artists are Mariko Ando, Dona Nabata, Atheana Picha, Kinichi Shigeno, Debra Sparrow, and the teams of Cyler Sparrow-Point/Isaiah Sparrow, and Richard Tetrault/Gerald Pedros. Working beneath unsettled skies, the mix of professional and novice printmakers worked together to ink and print each design three times. The large size of the prints called for an oversized printing method and an industrial-size construction roller was brought in, the prints pulled right on the pavement before an appreciative crowd.
Big Print Project Steveston builds on the past success of Big Print Chinatown 2016. It is a Creative Cultural Collaborations Society (C3 Society) project supported by the City of Richmond, Onni Group, Malaspina Printmakers Society, and the BC Arts Council.
Kinichi Shigano – Steveston Bounty #2
When I first set up my ceramic studio in Steveston/Richmond over 38 years ago, the environment played a large part in my images which I used to create my blue and white designs. The birds on the dyke and the salmon became images which I have used in many of my ceramic pieces.
The Big Print Project has challenged me in other ways – to look at Steveston and my heritage and to incorporate these aspects of my life into a woodblock print. For this piece, I drew inspiration from the salmon returning up the Fraser River to spawn, which are caught in a net on a drum of a fishing. Vessel. The beautiful Sakura trees which line the entrance to Garry Point Park provided another inspiration. I used the motif not only to pay homage to my heritage, but also to draw the eye along the drum to complete a circle which represents the beginning and the end of all living things.
Dona Nabata – Salmon Woman
Cocooned in a big black brush stroke, the Salmon Woman represents the legacy of the women of the Fraser River delta. Wrapped in deep burnt orange, she becomes a part of a long meandering black wave. With closed eyes and a slight smile, she is in repose, her countenance somehow, uplifting.
Let that big black wave fall down your walls, juxtaposed with the dark orange body of the Salmon Woman. She creates a dramatic presence that is definitely of this place, British Columbia.
Mariko Ando – The Steveston Wind
Steveston. This may be the place that is bittersweet for a Japanese Canadian person.
As I now see the cherry trees blooming at Garry Point Park, it reminds me of the sad history of Japanese persecution during World War 2. These same cherry blossoms bring healing to all of us.
As one who emigrated to Canada in 1999 and ‘anchored’ in Canada, I was inspired for this work.
The ‘Big Print’ exhibition was the second for myself. As I usually work with small prints, the carving with large chisels was comfortable. This work is not only for oneself, but for a large number of people. It is the work of, and for all.
Thank you to all involved.