Last month I had the pleasure of painting the entrance of The Profile Coworking Business Club’s downtown Vancouver office area. I was excited at the idea to be able to take my paintings large scale onto three walls, but was definitely nervous too. It wasn’t that I was unsure about the size, but because I was changing mediums from oil to acrylic. I wondered if I would be able to convey the same stylistic intention with acrylic on the wall. Before I started painting, I experimented with various acrylic paint additives until I was happy with one that manipulated the paint so I could get a similar result as my abstracted oil paintings. In staying true to my artistic vision and style, I learned that I am quite comfortable in both mediums.
When I began, I wondered: how can I translate this space into a painting? But even more so, how can I take my experiences being Deaf and translate it onto the wall? I looked to my past work for inspiration and made a thumbnail sketch in Photoshop for The Profile owners to approve. I began with the white lines stretched across the three walls, creating a continuous sightline. The white lines are a significant part of my work in the White Noise series. The repetitive fine white lines express sound waves impacting my deafness. They have a dual purpose, examining my tinnitus and lack of hearing with low or straight waveforms. The fluid movement of colour contrast the structure of line making, creating a visual cohesion within the space.
As I worked on the mural, the members of The Profile flowed in and out of the space. Some interacted and some watched me paint. By being in the space with the people, it opened a dialogue about the meaning behind my work. It even allowed others to share their experiences, whether that be opening up about their health or what they were working on that day.
When I stand in the space, encompassed by my art, it is an extraordinary feeling.