Creating this mural for the Stay at Home Mural Festival for Our Planet organized by Pangaseed and Seawalls has been a very rewarding and reflective experience.
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In this surreal and difficult time, I have found it hard to take in and process everything that is happening in the world.
I consider myself to be privileged to be able to isolate in the safety of my home, while receiving financial support from the government. My heart goes out to everyone - especially to those who have lost loved ones, to refugees, to people in impoverished places, to high risk populations, to those in strict confinement, to those working the front lines...I could go on and on.
Despite my place of privilege, I have still found this period challenging. I feel the weight of living in the city in Canada that has been hit the hardest. I have felt the mental impacts of isolation. I worry for my loved ones and the lasting negative impact this will have on the world.
At the same time, I feel that this time of reflection has allowed me to better understand myself - and I think that the same is happening globally. We have been able to see clearly the negative impact humans are having on our planet, especially in terms of pollution and endangered animals. I have seen so many positive changes already: people reaching out to help others, people returning to the simple important things, underpaid workers receiving higher wages, people realizing the importance of creatives, people fighting for more equality...
Two examples of this positive change inspired my mural:
Firstly, the Chinese government was prompted to take more action to protect pangolins, one of the most heavily trafficked animals in the world, after a study suggested that they may have transmitted the disease.
Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/18/covid-19-a-blessing-for-pangolins
Secondly, in Montreal shortly after we started to be affected by Covid, I started to see rainbows everywhere. From large buildings being lit up to children posting small artworks in their windows. This warmed my heart to see people spreading this symbol of love and hope. It reminded me in a time of feeling hopeless, that individuals can always make a difference and together we can create powerful change.
I hope that we can all come out of this stronger, more connected and mindful. I hope that we will take more action to save our planet. I hope in the long run the world will change for the better.
(wherI am happy to have had the chance to paint another mural at Elio Pizzeria! Inspired by the work that is being done to help increase the population of Fin Whales:
Fin whales were hunted everywhere for the first three-quarters of the 20th century, causing major population decline. Largely thanks to the ban on whaling in 1986 and through conservation efforts such as at the Pelagos Sanctuary in Italy, populations have been increasing since 1995.
Read more: ESA Success Stories, IUCN Report, Pelagos Sanctuary
If you want to go find this hidden mural go check behind the building at 351 Rue de Bellechasse in Montreal near Metro Rosemount (where you can also find my other mural featuring the Ibex)!
I had an incredible time painting with the amazing artists of Mimmit Peinttaa! It was very refreshing to collaborate and create with these lovely ladies.
Painted in Helsinki Finland in collaboration with Mimmit Peinttaa and artists Ruusa Art, PoppaMaija, Fancy Hoo
''Thanks to the efforts of Finnish nature conservationists, majestic white-tailed eagles have returned from the brink of extinction, and today they are a common sight soaring over the waters and islands of Finland’s beautiful Baltic archipelagoes.'' (1)
(1) Visit Finland
I had an incredible experience in Finland! This is the main project I went for supported by Street Art Vantaa, the City of Vantaa and Marjatta-Saatio. The mural was on a retirement home building and it was such an awesome experience to meet everyone in the community - even if I couldn't communicate with them! Thanks to everyone in the community for your kind words and the food/drinks given to me while working, I really felt the warmth and kindness from the people there!
The mural was inspired by the successful efforts that are saving the Saimaa ringed seal. Thanks to decades of conservation efforts, the seal population has gradually risen from 150 to 360 individuals.
“The Saimaa ringed seal remains highly endangered,” says Tolvanen. “The official interim goal is 400 seals by the year 2025. Then extinction would no longer be an immediate threat, but even that is in no way adequate.”
- Tiina Suomalainen
Read more: Finland.fi - Still saving Finlands Saimaa Ringed Seal
I am excited to share my first mural painted in Finland! Inspired by the actions that increased the Saimaa seal population from 150 to 360. Thanks to Street Art Vantaa for the amazing opportunity!
"Red kangaroos, the biggest marsupials in the world, live only in Australia. They were originally considered endangered due to "commercial importation of kangaroos, their parts and products," according to the Federal Register species account.
Less than 10 years after being included on the Endangered Species list, these bouncers were put up for delisting, but then new data revealed that a severe drought had prevented populations from recovering. Just about a decade after that, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deemed red kangaroo populations stable, removing these animals from the ESA." (1)
(1) Back from the Brink: 13 Animals Saved from Extinction, Michele Berger, Oct 31, 2014, weather.com
I feel extremely honoured that the first mural I painted in Montreal was chosen as one of the Top Ten Small Murals in 2018!
Check out the C'est Toi Ma Ville Website for the lovely article!
I had an amazing time at the IWS Canada and CSPWC exhibition and award ceremony. Thanks to the CALQ for funding the trip!
I got the chance to learn from some amazing talented artists. I also had the honour of being an invited guest and accepting the 2nd place National prize!
My painting "Kasa" will be exhibited until until October 27th at the Boynton House in Richmond Hill.
I have just finished my latest mural in Montreal located at the corner of rue Beaubien and rue Drolet! Here is the story:
Peregrine Falcon, Montreal, QuebecIn 1980, there was only one peregrine falcon nesting couple left in southern Quebec which increased to 196 by 2015. (1) In 2018 in Montreal, fifteen have been born in Montreal and all have survived! (2) Peregrine Falcons in Quebec have consistently occupying more territories since 1970. (3) Populations of peregrine falcons have increased all over Canada greatly thanks to the ban on the insecticide DDT. (1)
""This species has undergone a large and statistically significant increase over the last 40 years in North America (2,600% increase over 40 years)" (4)
Read more: (1) Peregrine falcon population sees record growth in Quebec, CBC, Oct 2015, (2) Une Excellent Année Pour le Faucon Pérlin à Montreal, Radio Canada, Martin Labrosse, 2018, (3) Quebec Management Plan for Peregrine Falcons, COSEWIC, (4) IUCN, Red list: Peregrine Falcon, The peregrine falcon's remarkable turnaround - Canadian Geographic, Harry Wilson, Dec.2017,
I had the honour of participating in the Beantatuz International Street Art Festival in Tolosa, Spain! I painted a mural to tell the story of efforts to save the brown bear in the region:
Brown bears almost became extinct due to illegal poaching in the Cantabrian Mountains, in the Basque Region of Northern Spain. Thanks to efforts from EuroNature and other foundations the population has almost double within ten years. However, work still needs to be done to help increase their populations in other areas. Learn more and find out how you can help at: EuroNatur , Fundacio Oso Asturias, Fundacio Oso Pardo
Here are some shots of the process and my interactions with the public:
θαλάσσια χελώνα (Sea Turtle)
This painting was created to raise awareness about the actions taken in Greece to save the sea turtles by companies like Archelon and WWF Greece. For example, they protect the island of Zakynthos which invlcudes 500-1000 nests a year and protects over 2,500 nests each year.
Many other countries around the world have been working to save the sea turtles. According to records from individual time series there are more population increases than descreases: ''we found 95 significant increases in abundance and 35 significant decreases'' (1) Hopefully, this trend will start to continue so we can see population increases around the globe!
(1) Science Advances 20 Sep 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 9, e1600730