Saraid Wilson

4th Year, Art Education Specialization

acrylic paint, lead and spray paint on concrete
3 panels each 36” x 108”

Murals created in collaboration with Seb Astwo

**images of mural currently unavailable**

1976 is a dedication to and a reconstruction of an untitled painting from 1976 by the late great Vancouver artist, community activist and city counsellor, Bruce Erickson.

In 1976, the City of Vancouver erected plywood panelling that blocked off the Carnegie Library, which previously had provided community support at the heart of the the city’s very challenged Downtown East Side. Erickson protested the proposed closing of the site, stating it was a direct attack on the poor and homeless, by painting on the plywood panelling. His work depicted a homeless man sitting in a dark doorway with his legs pulled to his chest as a pedestrian walked by him without notice. Erickson included a quote by French novelist Anatole France “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” (The Red Lily, 1894, chapter 7)

1976 reflects the continuous struggle to protect our society’s less fortunate individuals and everyone’s rights and freedoms, and considers the role that art can play as a platform for dialogue and critical thinking. This work was created on concrete to serve as a metaphorical reinforcement for the importance of a modern urban dialogue on the issues of homelessness and the deterioration of services and safe spaces for our citizens at risk.