Sunday, January 17, 2015

Community News


Art symbolic of poverty, homelessness in Chilliwack

Sabine Mendez, Chilliwack Healthier Communities


n an affluent society in one of the wealthiest nations of the world, many continue to struggle to have their most basic needs met.


The voices of those who live with the least are often ignored, repressed, or silenced. “We’re Here and We Matter” is a project where those who self-identify in Chilliwack, BC, as homeless or living in poverty were invited to contribute to a collaborative canvas to help express their reality.


City Life Centre commissioned local Chilliwack artist Esther Hoogendoorn of Ease Designs to bring the full force of her creativity to this project. The goal is to bring awareness and value to this largely misunderstood and marginalized group in our community. If you would like to learn more about the artist and her work or hang this piece in your space, please contact us.    


While there are many layers of interpretation, a few themes that underline this multi-media piece are:

1.  The tree-like structure is symbolic of the changing shape of life.

2.  The large variety of different materials represents the individuality and uniqueness of every person and their circumstance.

3.  The materials used are items that are often overlooked or discarded.  Many of them were reclaimed or collected from garbage and recycling bins.

4.  The white canvas suggests invisibility, while the touches of silver represent hope. 

5.  The piece is intentionally left unfinished as the story of Chilliwack’s homeless is still being written.


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