CULTIVATE LIFE - St. Albert Mural Mosaic

Edward Van Vliet


Choose this day

Panel before
Artist Comments:
My first thoughts upon hearing the theme of Cultivate Life were to contrast life with its opposite (death, fear, anger). I considered how I might contrast the life of the spirit with the life of the flesh and began collecting images of nature (flowers, mostly) and then flesh/ skin. Flowers always take me to the original Garden - a place filled with life. and Beauty. The pairing felt a little forced, and was less interesting texturally than I had hoped, so I decided to contrast the flowers with images of arid landscapes - deserts, beaches. While I liked the way these elements began to play off each other visually, the colours were too strong, and I still needed to depict the spatters from the original image. I knew I wanted to use text (and had initially thought to find a suitable poem and scatter the letters to the wind across the image), so I had to find a way to lighten the images before putting on the text. As a solution, I veiled the images beneath a semi-transparent layer of tissue. Finally, I added the text - a passage that has been life to me.
Ultimately, this piece attempts to represent how many of our choices, whether life cultivating (or not), are, indeed, veiled to us - we often do not discern immediately the effects of our actions. I finally found a suitable text, one which is about choosing life - we are constantly presented with that choice: to choose [to cultivate] life, or to embrace or receive those things which do not add to our spiritual, physical, mental, emotional or relational well-being.
Art at its most significant is a distant early warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen. – Marshall McLuha