In mid-July, a work party of South Hill neighbours transformed some lanes west of Fraser Street into a large-scale community art gallery. Six giant 12 x 9 foot photo-murals were pasted up on select exterior walls in the area as part of the multi-platform interactive web project, INSIDE STORIES.
Each image, taken by accomplished local photographer Shannon Mendes, portrays a South Hill resident whose story is featured on the INSIDE STORIES website. The portraits include people like Ben Kwan, the tailor who escaped famine and revolution in China to eventually settle and work on Fraser Street; and Jinder Johal who arrived in Vancouver from her village in India when she was 8 years old and who now heads up the South Hill library.
The local work crew was joined by the storytellers as they watched their own portraits emerge on the walls of their community. People of all ages grabbed a roller, climbed the ladder and helped paste on the photos. Pac Blue Digital Imaging, the co. that printed the murals, also sent their good-natured installers to teach the paste up method. The project was inspired by the work of JR, a Parisian street artist who exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not museum visitors.
This photo installation is a part of Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary celebrations and is produced in collaboration with the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House. To learn the story behind each street portrait, please visit INSIDE STORIES at http://www.southhillcommunity.ca/insidestories, a site created by filmmaker Nettie Wild, photographer Shannon Mendes, web designer Jeremy Mendes and the community of South Hill.
Come on over and check out 4 photos near 47th & Fraser (behind Shopper’s Drug Mart). 2 more are in the lane that runs from 44th – 45th. View this link to a one-minute time lapse of Erwin’s photo going up: http://www.youtube.com/user/