I received a delightful email today from Charlene Dy, a creative soul living in Vancouver. Charlene read my book, Where Is Here: Canada’s Maps and the Stories They Tell, and was struck by how First Nations groups used maps as a way of communicating their understanding of the world, and by how hobos used chalk-drawn maps to send messages to fellow wayfarers. Riffing off these examples, she produced a linocut print, shown above, that is shaped by these ideas.
Here’s what Charlene wrote:
I go to church in the Grandview-Woodlands neighbourhood in Vancouver (which got a shout-out in your book!), and each year during Lent, my church invites people to create linocut prints inspired by the Stations of the Cross for display in our sanctuary.
For my piece, I chose to explore visual representations of community-making, and settled on mapping as my primary metaphor. I stumbled across your book at a local library, and your first and ninth chapters in particular provided so many great ideas for understanding how maps are understood by various cultures, and also how maps hold keys to how a community sees itself.
In case you were curious to see what your work inspired, I’ve attached a terrible photo of my linocut print (use the image of the Coast Mountains to orient the piece in the proper direction), as well as the artist’s statement. . .
In her artist statement, Charlene explains that she thought of Mary as she asked herself, “Where do I see Christ on the way from my house to Grandview Calvary Baptist Church?”
These signs chart the journey I took, both literally and metaphorically, to come to this church. They indicate hardship and sin: places of doubt, relationships spoiled, events where I did not know how to receive or give grace. They also show the hope and joy that come with God’s presence. The hobo sign that I found myself using most often indicates, “good people live here” – for me, at least, a reminder that God is the giver, creator, and restorer of communities previously unimagined.
Thanks, Charlene, for sharing this work.
View the full Artist’s Statement here